There were a few who would go forward to bring back a future technology and become rich, and even one idealist who would go forward to the upcoming election to tamper with the results in defense of “the greater good.” But the vast majority (probably 80%) of these intercity high-schoolers would go back to their own past to change mistakes they had made.
These kids are 14.
- One girl wanted to go back to 1983 and convince her mom not to drop out of high school.
- Several wanted to go back to specific classes in middle school and convince themselves to take their lives more seriously.
- Many wanted to go back and spend time with family members before their deaths.
- One girl wanted to go back to the day she had her ultrasound to look at the face of the boy she miscarried and tell him that she loved him.
And I thought of myself in the mistakes I cannot change, crying out again and again that I will change but finding year after year that I haven’t. Redemption doesn’t always end up being a story of fixing our flaws; sometimes it is a story of carrying them through to the end. Many of those kids will not change in a way that makes their stories look less devastating on the outside or feel less painful to them on the inside.
Maybe what may change is the way we carry the flaws, the way we carry ourselves through our obstacle course of foibles. Maybe redemption is God helping us to carry the very things we long for him to remove. Maybe I and those teenagers whose quizzes I groaned through will learn to carry our flaws beautifully.