I haven’t seen the most watched Dr. Who episode ever yet. The 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, came out a few weeks ago and I still haven’t seen it. I haven’t caught up to it yet and I don’t want to see it without watching the rest of season 7. The problem is, is that there are so many spoilers out there amongst the internets that I can’t help but see spoilers. In fact, I’m afraid of googling a picture of the Day of the Doctor for this post because I don’t want spoilers.
Funny (maybe even ironic) is that not giving away spoilers to the future is something important in Dr. Who. When River Song (one of the constant companions and wife of the Doctor) is asked by Dr. Who what will happen with them, she simply places her finger to her lips and says “Spoilers.” Which means she won’t tell what will happen with them. When you know the future, says Dr. Who, it can’t be changed. And if it is in print and you read it, you can’t change it even if you tried. Trying to change it might even be what causes it in the first place (isn’t time travel fun).
We want spoilers to tell the truth. We want to know what the future holds. We want to know what’s going to happen to us in a month, in a year, in five years. Yet if we’re told what’s going to happen, we may not want to do it. We may not like it.
When I think of spoilers, I think of the prophet Habakkuk (don’t ask me how to pronounce it). He cries out to God about the injustices he’s seeing around him and asks God what God is going to do about it. God then gives him a glimpse into the oncoming future. And Habakkuk doesn’t like it one bit. He doesn’t like what he hears. What he hears is that it is going to get worse. Life in Israel is going to get worse before it gets better. He hears how his people will be taken away by a foreign country. He hears how his people will be hurt, slaughtered, and then captured. And he doesn’t like it. And once he hears it, he knows it’s going to happen because God said it would.
Yet God says something interesting. Even in the midst of suffering, people will be able to feel the His presence. Even in the midst of it all, God will be known by His people.
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the lord as the waters cover the see.” Habakkuk 2:14
“The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” Habakkuk 2:20
The spoiler that Habakkuk gets is not only one of judgement on the people for oppressing the poor, the marginalized, the weak, and the hungry. Not only will the people be judged for their injustices they have committed, but God will be known and they can know God in the middle of it all.
In the midst of the future pain that will happen, in the midst of the problems that will go on, God will be known.
There is a comfort in that that Dr. Who will never know. For Dr. Who the future that is already written is a bad thing. There is no comfort in knowing what the future holds. If it is written down it will happen. And he hates it that he can’t control it. He hates it that he can’t change it. Even when he tries to change the future, or even the past, things happen anyway. And it is hard on him.
Habakkuk on the other hand relinquishes control.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are not sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
We can treat spoilers in two different ways. We can treat them as Dr. Who does, as something that is infuriating and not able to be controlled or we can trust in God that he is at work for our good.
“And we know that in all things God woks for the good of those who love him.” Romans 8:28
We can trust that God will be in charge and in control. We must relinquish what control we think we might have in our lives and set it aside. That control that we think we have isn’t really there. We don’t have control. Instead we need to trust in the one who is in charge. And as we trust in Him, as we place our faith and trust in what He is doing, we won’t need to worry about spoilers or the future.
We don’t know what the future holds. But God does. He’s already given us some spoilers in His books (Revelation can be read that way, but that’s for another post), but in the grand scheme of things, no, he hasn’t given us many spoilers. And if he did, we wouldn’t be able to handle it.
So trust instead. Trust in what is happening in the now. Trust in what God is doing now. And know that he who holds the future in His hands, is with you now and will guide you now. So live in the now rather than looking for spoilers.