“The girl in the fireplace” is one of the most tragic and romantic episodes of Tennant’s era as the Doctor. The Tardis lands on a spaceship 3000 years in the future. Within the ship there are many windows into Pre-Revolutionary France, and all of them focus on the life of Madame de Pompadour, royal mistress to King Louis XV. Different days of her life are “pressed together like the pages in book”. Clockwork monsters are determined to kill Madame de Pompadour and use her “parts” to fix their ship. The Doctor is such a mystery to them, as each time he enters her world he has not aged in the slightest. Yet as Madame de P. admits, “the Doctor is worth the monsters”. In saving her Tennant eventually becomes trapped in her world, stuck on the slower path. . . until an unlikely way out presents itself. With some sadness the Doctor finds his way back on the Tardis, unable to take his new French sweetheart with him on a journey to the stars.
In some ways this must be how our life appears to our Creator, since He knows the beginning and the end of all things. Can He see into future days as through a window? Can He step in and out to influence the outcome of events? He is Sovereign after all! Yet He has not left us on the slower path alone. He did take the slower path for a while, for 33 years, and lived like us, sharing our weaknesses. This slow path took Him from helpless baby to good Teacher and miraculous healer, to the King of Kings who would be despised, rejected and hung on a tree. But when He returned to heaven He left us a Comforter and Guide, the Spirit of Christ. This is not something any Doctor has figured out how to do quite yet! (All he can leave is his phone number.)
Yet like the Doctor, knowing God is worth the monsters! Though sometimes it seems life would be simpler without an awareness of our own sinfulness and the holiness of the God whom we rebelled against, once you DO know Him, how could you ever choose life without Him?