Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One Month and Counting

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  No blogging tomorrow or for the rest of the weekend.  Time for giving thanks to God, spending time with family, and quietly slipping out into the woods to hunt.  Hope everyone enjoys the day and resists the temptation to cut into family time to go shopping at Wal-Mart, Target, and all those other retailers who are more concerned with their bottom line than honoring the holiday.

And when you are celebrating, may you not worry one whit that today marks one month until the supposed doomsday apocalypse according to some readings/misreadings of the Mayan calendar.

I mean, honestly, who really gives a darn about this stuff?  Who really worries about such doomsday predictions?  Oh, I know there are a few people out there who seem to get really worked up about the end of the world and all the catastrophe that is supposed to take place, but really.  I mean, take these two statements of truth home with you:

#1. EVERY END OF THE WORLD PREDICTION TO THIS DATE HAS BEEN WRONG!

Yep, you got it.  Every catastrophic prediction given by fanatics in science and religion has been wrong.  Every so often someone comes up with some dire prediction (usually associated with zeroes in the yearly date, but not always) from God telling someone the end will occur on such and such a date (Harold Camping) to the earth is heading into another ice age (Global cooling in the '70's), and every time, those folks have been wrong.  Out of the millions of such predictions, no one's gotten it right.  Take comfort in that.  Of course, one of these days, someone is actually going to get it right, and the end of the world will occur, but it will be a random chance prediction--nothing that is absolute.  You'd likely have a better chance of taking a deck of cards, shuffling them thoroughly, and then dealing four perfect hands--giving all four players every card in each suit, than predicting the end of the world.

#2. EVEN IF THE END OF THE WORLD WERE TO OCCUR, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT!

Face it, if the world were ending, there's nothing you can do to stop it.  If it is the sun going supernova; if it is a massive movement of the tectonic plates; if it is Christ's return, there's nothing you can do about it.  You're not going to head things off at the pass.  You're going to get burned to a crisp, drowned in a tsunami, taken up to heaven, or what have you in whatever scenario takes place.  If the end of the world occurs, you are going to die.  So am I.  The real question is whether or not you are prepared to die.  Are you afraid of death?  It is both a blessing and a curse that we humans have the ability to contemplate our own demise.  Some worry endlessly about it.  Others, not so much.  As people of faith, we should know better.  The only reason I fear death and would like to put it off for some time is my desire to be there for my family and help provide for them until they are able to do so for themselves.  Time and again, I have preached that death is not the end for those of us with faith, and I have seen time and again those with strong faith face death with peace.  Essentially, we are powerless in the matter of death.  It will happen.  It is unavoidable.  It is better to make peace with this reality.  Once peace is established, life becomes sweeter.

In some ways, this particular end of the world story wouldn't even be a story if it were not for a media which continually likes to keep people scared and angry.  In my humble opinion, there's a bit too much of these emotions running around.  In my humble opinion, such scare tactics belong to Halloween or in the movie theaters--places where reality is checked at the door and we live in fantasy for a few moments or hours. 

Life is a wonderful gift from God.  There are too many good things to marvel at, to be filled with joy by, to ponder deeply in one's heart, and to reflect in silent wonder upon.  May these things fill your heart and mind this Thanksgiving, and may anger and fear disappear for more than a few moments in the coming week, months, and years afterward.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I have been following this train of thought since the 1960s when Hal Lindsey's book, The Late Great Planet Earth, came out. I put some weight on Lindsey's theory about Israel being the "fig tree" of prophecy. What I have learned in the last 50 years is to wait and see -- but this does not mean that we should not think, search and question.

I do not think you should go around telling people to "not be alarmed." I think these prophecies help to keep us in a state of vigilance and repentance. The apparently "official" position of the ELCA is to blow off the End Times prophecies as low-brow, "evangelical" stuff. I disagree with that.