#1076 – Timehop and Tough Times



Timehop is one of my favorite apps. It compiles photos and social media activity for today’s date from years past. So when I check my Timehop today, it will show me what I posted and what pictures I took on April 20 in previous years. It’s fun to see what I’ve been doing in the six years since I signed up for Twitter. It’s also a lot of fun to see pictures that I’ve posted, to be reminded of memories I’d forgotten.

As I’ve been going through Timehop recently, though, it hasn’t been all fun and smiles.

There are some seasons and some memories that I would rather forget. Unfortunately, as I go through Timehop, I can’t help but remember the difficult season I went through two years ago.

It’s a little jarring to look at pictures and tweets from last year, when I was enjoying life and getting ready for summer, and then to see pictures and tweets from two years ago, when I had an emotional breakdown and needed to take about a month off of work. That was a difficult season for me. I wasn’t working, I was unsure about myself and I was seeing my counselor on a regular basis. I honestly didn’t know if I would make it through, and seeing posts from two years ago stirs up all those memories and feelings.

In a way I should be grateful for Timehop. It’s sometimes too easy to move on from our past and difficult experiences. We prefer to put our heads down and keep moving forward without taking the time necessary to process our experiences. When those experiences keep popping up in Timehop it’s not as easy to ignore them.

In our society we value moving forward; we think people are strong if they can quickly put their pasts behind them. We even baptize this behavior as biblical with passages like Philippians 3:13-14, in which Paul says that he forgets what is behind so that he can strain on toward what is ahead.

However, in Philippians 3, Paul addresses his past and the life he lived before Christ. He hasn’t forgotten his past, but he has forgotten the confidence he had placed in his own flesh. He hasn’t forgotten his past, but he has addressed it, the good and bad, so that it won’t hinder him as he moves forward.

The Bible is full of Godly people who didn’t need Timehop to address their pasts. Joseph, Moses, David, Esther and Peter, among others, all embraced their pasts: mistakes and successes. They didn’t forget their pasts, but they did do the necessary work to keep their pasts from dragging down their futures.

So Timehop and its time traveling magic really can help us become spiritually mature. When we want to ignore our pasts, our mistakes and difficult seasons, Timehop can put them back in front of our faces. Perhaps seeing a reminder of what we went through one, two or five years ago, will push us to address a difficult situation so that we can truly move on from it.

Some Christians may not believe in dinosaurs, but the Timehope dinosaur can definitely help us become better Christians.

What helps you address your past?


4 comments on “#1076 – Timehop and Tough Times”

  1. Scott, I really appreciate your transparency and sharing with us in this post. Thank you for it. I really like how you present Paul, in the full context of Philippians 3, as one who models how we can appropriate lessons from the past without getting stuck in it.

    I’ve always thought a similar passge is, “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43.18-19). Especially because it is in the context of God having just reminded Israel about the Exodus! It’s as though God is saying, “Remember the past and give thanks for it, but don’t get mired down in it, because, with me, the future is always even brighter.”

    Many days, though, I find myself trying not to worry too much about the past or the future, remembering that Jesus said, “Today’s worries are enough for today!”

    1. Philippians 3 was the text for the sermon in our church this weekend. Isaiah 48 also came up. They’re both great passages that address former things while telling us to move on from former things. God does want to do a new thing, but not until we work through the former things.

  2. It’s amazing that this came up for you too this weekend. Yesterday my timehop crushed me. My cousin was murdered 22 years ago yesterday. My timehop was virtually mourning except for 2 years ago when my wife was admitted to the hospital to start the labor process for the birth of our daughter. I cried several times yesterday thinking about all the cool stuff that has happened to me throughout the years and that my cousin was not there with me.
    Thanks for sharing this. It speaks to God’s goodness that we could see the negative things that have happened to us and be able to use it as a testimony. God gets the glory.

  3. Really enjoyed your piece Scott. Opening up my Timehop is one of my favorite parts of the morning, reminiscing about funny pictures and posts. But it’s also painful seeing not just the bad memories but the regrets about missed opportunities and things that didn’t come to fruition. I wrote a similar post on my blog about the app about a year ago but I really enjoyed your insight on it as well.

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