Northstar Presents At The Movies –  About Time 

Introduction:

When Tim Lake is 21, his father tells him a secret: The men in their family can travel through time. Although he can’t change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by getting a girlfriend. He meets Mary, falls in love and finally wins her heart via time-travel and a little imagination. However, as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds that his special ability can’t shield him and those he loves from the problems of ordinary life.

Something To Talk About:

  1. What would you do if like Tim, you could go back in time: Think of the pain and challenges that defined you over the years—heartache, loss, failure, shattered dreams, mistakes, regrets, doubts, fears. I think we would be less than honest if we said we wouldn’t change anything. This movie is about time. Solomon put it this way in Ecclesiastes3:1-4: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.”  Tim discovered all these truths and more in the movie. 
  2. Time is fleeting: Mary has a great line in the movie, she says, “And so it begins, lots and lots of types of days.” Regardless of the types of days, it soon becomes apparent that time is fleeting. It comes and goes at a rapid pace. That is why we need to remember Psalm 39:4-5: “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered-how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”  Days come and days go. Good days, bad days, ordinary days, but there is a time for everything.  Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
  3. Life is full of lessons: There are so many invaluable lessons about life. Tim’s father actually taught him so much. Even though our days are short, we too can learn many real life lessons that can be applied to our life in an instant. Over the last few teaching series, we have talked about some of those life lessons: To serve is to be great; love conquers all; forgive others; love God and love others.
  4. A matter of perspective: The difference between a good day and a bad day is perspective. In most cases, days are labeled bad when there is pain involved. Seeing the good God is doing on your bad day can seem quite daunting at times. But hopefully, we never forget that on my best day I still need God as desperately as I did on my worst day.” It is so amazing how an ordinary day, can become a very good day when we simply have a change of perspective. Just like the Psalmist said, “This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
  5. Prepare for Any Eventuality: There are some things in life you simply can’t plan or prepare for. A reality Tim and his family found out for themselves. We may find out the same thing. You got a bad medical report from a doctor and you never thought you’d be here. You found yourself in a real trial or struggle that you didn’t foresee. Unfortunately, you can’t go back and change this. Because this is exactly where Tim and his family find themselves. You would think with the ability to time travel they would go back in time and possibly change something so they could avoid cancer. But the rules of engagement prohibit that. So when Tim’s wife Mary wanted to have a child, Tim faced a crucial choice. Go back and see his father or have a child. We too have choices, howbeit without time travel and we too will need to make decisions for the unforeseen bumps in the road of life.    

Questions:

  1. Do I agree with Solomon that God’s plan includes a time for “everything” (Ecclesiastes  3:2-8)—even war, death, mourning, and hate? Why or why not? Does this mean we should expect change? What do these verses say about accepting limitations?
  2. Are you able to “take life in stride” or do you have extreme highs and lows, dependent upon your circumstances? If the latter, what can you do to be more spiritually consistent?
  3. If you could describe the season of life that you are going through right now, how would you describe it? What do you think God’s purpose is for allowing this season in your life? What are you learning about God in this season? How can you transform this season into an opportunity to trust God?
  4. Read Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful in it’s time?” What does that mean to you?
  5. What can the group do to help or encourage you in whatever season of life you are in? 

Take One Thing Home with You:

About Time is a movie about time, specifically about one person’s efforts to solve his problems by going back in time for a never ending number of “oops” or “I should not have done that” do-overs. But for us what is done is done. We can’t turn back the clock of time. Good or bad, right or wrong, it is done. It’s over. Once we started down the wrong road we can’t go back in time and make a different decision. Once a word goes from our mouth, we can not take it back. Once we do an action, we can not choose another one in its place. It is too late to return back to yesterday. 

We can have another chance because God never gives up on us. In fact, He counted on the entire human race needing a do-over. That’s why He sent Jesus Christ. With the love and favor of God, each day can be a new beginning. And what we do with those days is important because they are fleeting. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us of that fact and the fact that there is so much that we just don’t have control over. It is better for us just to live our lives to the best of our ability and let God take care of the details. Ecclesiastes seems to be telling us that if we’re searching for meaning to our lives or searching for understanding or greater purpose, we may just find ourselves disappointed.

God does have a plan for you. He does have a purpose for your life. Know this, accept it, believe it. And find joy and happiness in your life, it isn’t worth spending too much time on the negative. God will be with you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And He promises a great eternity ahead.