If you read my blog regularly, you know that I have started my “daily horror flick” tradition a few days early. Normally, I start it October 1st and watch a horror movie every day until after Halloween. I say normally, but let’s be real. Actual start date usually ends up falling somewhere in the last week of September.
I started 3 days ago.
Anyhoo, last night I chose The Butterfly Effect for our movie. I know it’s really not horror, but whatever, I wanted to watch it. In this film, Ashton Kutcher plays Evan, a man whose childhood is full of blackouts during terrible events in his life. In college, he tries to rebuild his memories and discovers that he able to sort of relive the bad memory and change what happens. When he does, it changes his entire future. As well as the futures of those around him. He finds that despite trying to keep the bad things from happening in his life, he is unable to save the lives of those he cares about. It’s an interesting story, as I’m sure most of you know.
I haven’t seen this movie since it came out umpteen years ago. While it wasn’t as great as I remember it, it made me think about what I would change if I had the ability to relive my memories.
At first I thought, yeah I would change so, so many things. I would change the terrible things that had occurred, I would make different choices, say different words, stand up for myself, yadda, yadda, yadda. Then Justin reminded me that some of those things were the very igniters of what led us together. He had a point…..Ok then, I would only change a few things, the things that have kept me in a horrific, never-ending state of distrust and complete lack of self-worth.
I can pinpoint two major events in my life that have absolutely destroyed the fabric of my soul. One when I was very young, and one in my teens. These events wrecked me to the core, and I believe that had they never happened, I would be a very different person today. Furthermore, I can’t think of a single person who has come in contact with me that hasn’t unwittingly felt the angry storm that lurks behind the raw and bloody wounds of these events. Those closest to me feel it the worst. It inspires feelings of self-contempt that could rival the hatred of Satan himself.
I don’t like to think about them much, and just letting my mind go there made my whole body feel faint. I wanted to cry, but instead I silently prayed, for the 80 millionth time, “God please. Heal me. Help me forget.” In a childish form of prayer I thought, “Couldn’t you let me go back and change it?”
No sooner had the prayer whisked through the maze of doom that is my thought life than I heard the Lord’s sweet, tender words infiltrate my mind as if on a megaphone.
Sweet daughter! Don’t you see that is what I’ve already done? The moment I broke free of Death’s grip, your future was changed. The gory wounds inflicted on you would have continued rotting your heart, infecting your soul with the bacteria of sin and shame; dooming you to a slow and painful death. A life very different from the one you know. The moment my Spirit defeated Death, your wounds became only scars – healed and devoid of pain. Before you even felt the first blows of a sinful world, I had already changed your future. By my wounds, you were healed! In my resurrection, you were brought back to life! You child, are living as we speak, the future I mended for you! You see the scars, you hold the memories, but they are only ghosts of a past that you are no longer bound to! You are free to live the future I envisioned for you from the start! Stop living as if you are still on that timeline of death! Live, live abundantly!
There was no holding back the tears now. But God wasn’t finished. Suddenly the voice on the radio starts singing, “Do you believe you can walk on water? Oh oh, Oh oh, Do you believe you can win this fight tonight?”
Yes, Lord, yes, I am ready to win this fight! Yes I am ready to walk on water! Yes, I am ready to start living the future you went back in time to change for me with your undeserved sacrifice! Yes, I am ready to let go of ghostly memories that pose no threat to my new future. Thank you Jesus, for freeing my soul!!!
Ashton Kutcher was able to live an entirely different future as he defeated negative events in his past. It took him a lot of trial and error to save the people he cared about, and in the end, it was love, and the sacrifice of his own desires, that led him to the future that rescued his friends and the woman he loved.
Thankfully, Jesus is far more competent than Ashton Kutcher. His sacrificial love and victory over death rescued me from a damning future of pain and slow, torturous death. When he overcame sin and death, it’s like he reached into my past and healed those wounds that would have otherwise led to my demise. I was given a chance. An opportunity to live a different life, a future full of hope and promise. An abundant life filled with love.
So I will wipe the tears from my eyes and the shame from my heart. Those scars were left only to remind me of what could have been, not what is. I will not negate Christ’s sacrifice for me by choosing to live as if those wounds were still open and bleeding. No, I will live the future he saved me for.
What might my life be like if those wounds hadn’t been healed? That’s the real question. I don’t even want to imagine. Instead, I choose to live my changed future to the fullest.