While the episodes we must travel through are predetermined, the exact timing is not. Variables can change causing the needed factors to not be aligned. Hence, an event should have occurred may have to be put off, or even cancelled. It all depends.
Therefore, when people expect specific dates from spirits, they are unable to answer with confidence. Instead, they try to anchor an event with another event. This plus the addition that time is different, or actually non-existent in the spirit realm, makes the job of pinning down a time on earth extremely problematic.
As an example of the complexity of referencing time on earth to the spirit world, there is an interesting segment from a book, A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, by the spirit Franchezzo. The medium who transcribed the book was A. Farnese. The book was published in 1896. My Spiritist friend in Brazil, Geraldo Goulart, sent me the PDF.
The spirit Franchezzo asked his spirit mentor how long a task would take him to finish. He wanted to know the length of time in relation to earth time. This is what he was told:
“No, it will last but a short time—two or three weeks of earth time—for behold as I shadow it forth to you I see following it fast the image of your returning spirit, showing that the two events are not separated by a wide interval. In the spirit world where time is not reckoned by days or weeks or counted by hours, we judge of how long an event will take to accomplish or when an occurrence will happen by seeing how near or how far away they appear, and also by observing whether the shadow cast by the coming event touches the earth or is yet distant from it—we then try to judge as nearly as possible of what will be its corresponding time as measured by earthly standards. Even the wisest of us may not always be able to do this with perfect correctness; thus it is as well for those who communicate with friends on earth not to give an exact date for foreseen events, since many things may intervene to delay it and thus make the date incorrect. An event may be shown very near, yet instead of continuing to travel to the mortal at the same speed it may be delayed or held in suspense, and sometimes even turned aside altogether by a stronger power than the one which has set it in motion.”[i]
I haven’t seen a better explanation of the difficulty of dating events to earth time than the one above. Imagine living in a world where time doesn’t move forward, only change of status. In other words, things do happen, people learn, people meet new friends, and people go on missions to earth; but the clock doesn’t move forward. It doesn’t move because time doesn’t advance, plants don’t decay, houses don’t fall down over time, and bridges don’t rust. Objects are altered when a spirit wills them to change. Not because years have passed.
Then, you toss in that a spirit must determine the current approximate time on earth, at the moment someone is asking for a future date, the event must be correlated with a future event that may or may not occur, which then must be translated into another time and date on earth. One then begins to understand the complexity of supplying an answer, that we on earth think should be relatively easy.
I dive deeper in how the Future is presented to us in my set of three books, where I document the spirit writing sent to the Rev. G. Vale Owen. The first book in the series is Heaven and Below – Book 1 of Spiritism as told to an Anglican Vicar.
[i] Farnese, A., A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, W.J. Sinkins, PDF, p. 116