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  • Pastor Ralph Acerno

The Time Machine

Last year I took a ride out to see my childhood home in Garfield. The garage my dad built was still there where we once had a barn dance for all the neighbors in 1953. And you could still see the old tree.

I hesitated opening the gate. They might think it's some old man gone senile! The smell of the yard was just as I remembered. But what truly got me was the sidewalk! All was new, except, for some reason, one old slab from my childhood remained right in front-center of the house going up the path.


I stepped onto that old piece of slab that was still there after all these years. As crazy as it sounds, I closed my eyes and felt as if I were in a time machine. For a magical moment, time seemed to stand still.


This was the very sidewalk I played on as a child. My mom and dad stepped onto this as they walked me off to my first day of school. On this slab rode the training wheels of my first bike. My sister long ago played jacks on this piece of brittle old rock.


Relatives, long gone, coming for Christmas walked over it, as did my grandfather as he came to take me out for a day of softball.


In all the years following, it had remained the same. Rockets landed on the moon. Loved ones passed on. Wars began and ended.


Time and space had changed so much. But this solitary remaining stone seeming invincible against the sovereign weight of time and space. I smiled and moved on. We dare not stay too long in such a place lest we ourselves turn to stone.


To the current owners, it's only an old piece of cement - an oddity from another time soon to be replaced. Rightly so. It is, after all, just a piece of cement. But for me, one breezy day last fall it became a time machine.


That's one of the rare times that both haunts and delights, reminding us of what being human truly is: the ability to dream, reflect and give thanks. In many ways there is a spiritual truth here as well. Many things in life change, but our God is eternal. His word, nature and purpose will stand the test of time and endure forever. He alone is the solid rock on which we stand (1 Peter 1:24-25).


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