Notes on faith: Time travel and the enthusiastic ‘yes’

As Christians celebrate Easter and reflect on the resurrection, Revs. Alisha Lola Jones and Calvin Taylor Skinner encourage us all to look forward and enthusiastically say, “Time travel? Yes!!”

“Notes on faith” is theGrio’s inspirational, interdenominational series featuring Black thought leaders across faiths.

“No, I’m good. I would never do that!”

“That is doing way too much. Nah!”

“I can’t just drop everything and time travel…I have too much to do right here. Nope.” 

“Nope” has somehow embedded itself into our reflexes, perhaps as a shared trauma response, conflating comfort with stagnancy. People have become experts in what their limits are or what they would emphatically say “no!” to. Maybe the strong commitment to “no” is fueling an overwhelming and understandable tide of people joining the Great Resignation. Discontent with business as usual, laborers are walking away from jobs and commitments that no longer serve them. It is the “no!” we give to protect our commitments or secure boundaries. There is also the “no!” that neglects dreaming the impossible dream.

Our hope is that the resignation itself is not just about running from something awful, but rather, running to something that nourishes and invigorates us — designing our own career promotion, new relationship circles, or launching ourselves into the vast unknown. Otherwise, without a new vision, we can find ourselves in a cycle of discontent focusing on the impossible.

As Christian churchgoers celebrate the resurrection, prompting us to reflect on those matters deemed impossible, it is also a call to the realm of the cosmic surveyors. Cosmic surveyors are culture-bearers and visionaries who understand themselves to be co-creators, sensing the activity in heaven and realizing that vision of God here on earth. That realization is where we obtain the peace Mary Magdalene experienced when she first realized she was reunited with the risen Christ. 

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Some would say time travel in the literal sense is impossible. However, if we understand the legacy of the greatest technologies we have as a people — griots and seers — we tap into cosmic time travel through them as we share our stories, our ancestors’ dreams, and the voices of our progeny yet unborn. With the gift of their insights, we are clued into the alignment of the here and now and that which is the ultimate vision of God for ourselves, for our community, and for all creation. We become cosmic surveyors in a time when all things are possible, in a moment where all is aligned.

So, when was the last time you replied, “yes!” without reservations? 

What if we told you that we can teach you to time travel, giving you the gift of jetlag only to expose you to far-off civilizations, awe-inspiring experiences? 

What if we told you that you will receive everything you need to time travel?

All we need from you is an affirmative response like, “Time travel? Yes!” 

This “yes!” is not merely in response to fear as others have conceptualized, but rather it feels and wields the fear, actively focusing on those experiences that resonate with us, the desires that we have always wanted, as they unfold before our eyes. Those pivotal moments that cause us to move without worrying about how the vision would be accomplished. And when we move without concern for the how, we have been transported. Seriously. We embark upon life in new worlds and lead from the future.

Just before we married in August 2020, we agreed that at the core of our relationship, we would practice agreement with the intention of pursuing divine alignment. We asked each other to pursue a life of time travel — well, actually, we set the intention to plan to be bicontinental. Setting that intention meant becoming experts at navigating various time zones. We didn’t know what the assignment would be that would take us out of the United States. However, we held the sensation of that fulfilled dream and began to write out and talk about what that experience could look like.

Along the way, we received confirmation that we were on the right path. Our community of prophetic visionaries, seers, and dream weavers conspired with us unwittingly in the important work toward manifestation of this dream.

And immediately, we saw a new life materialize.

Our mother, Rev. Dr. Martha Butler Jones, had a dream that we were traveling via helicopter, meaning we would be traveling often and with ease. Then, one morning, Calvin stood at the door, peering out of a bedroom window as though he saw something in the distance. “We are about to transition,” he said. That next day, we received the job posting for a permanent faculty position at the University of Cambridge in England. And that week, on a 24-hour revival conference call, Archbishop E. Bernard Jordan, aka the Master Prophet, confirmed Calvin’s inclination. He said prophetically, “I recently purchased a book, and I would like you to consider getting this book.” When the book was delivered, on its cover — unlike its virtual thumbnail — appeared the name of its press, “Cambridge,” a confirmation of alignment.

So, we gathered information about the job posting. We prayed about it, and the opportunity resonated with us. Alisha applied, and as she was interviewing with them, one of our mentors reached out to Calvin and mentioned that they needed help in social justice organizing in England.

We didn’t know how we would obtain the dream. The details of our life aligned as we believed and responded to the seers, visionaries, and dreamers in our community — and in each other. The beautiful part about alignment with the Creator’s design for our lives (those aspirations and dreams that make us come alive) is that in honoring the desires of our hearts, the resources follow. 

As we peer into the coming days, there are everyday scenarios that elicit a  “no.” However, what anchors us in the extraordinary is time traveling in the cadence of the old Black preacher proclaiming. We recall in the traditional Black preacher’s rhetorical time traveling to that “yes” when they proclaimed: “There Christ was executed, but on the Third Day….” Draw upon God, who calls us to say “yes” to the impossible. See the vision as the cosmic surveyors help us fashion God’s vision for us, our community; for all creation demands active participation. 

Mystic Howard Thurman posited, “without God’s vision, there can, at last, be no significance in living.” Our active conspiring with God’s vision requires childlike curiosity. It requires ENTHUSIASM. It requires our total being. This Easter, we invite you to time travel with us in practicing borderless faith through an enthusiastic “yes.” We embrace the resurrection power by revisiting dormant dreams and breathing life into them with our enthusiastic “yes” — to the everyday and the extraordinary. 


Rev. Dr. Alisha Lola Jones is a faith leader helping people to find their groove in a fast-paced world, as a consultant for various arts and faith organizations and professor of music in contemporary societies at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. She is an award-winning author of Flaming? The Peculiar Theopolitics of Fire and Desire in Black Male Gospel Performance (Oxford University Press). For more information, please visit DrAlisha.com.


Rev. Calvin Taylor Skinner is dedicated to empowering frontline communities in Knoxville, Tenn. and the United Kingdom. He uses faith and policy to address energy justice, criminal justice reform, voter education/mobilization, electoral politics, and global affairs. Along with his wife, Rev. Dr. Alisha Lola Jones, they lead InSight Initiative, a consulting firm that focuses on capacity building and live events production.


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