Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are We Still Here?

I'm confused.  I first heard that Dec.21st, 2012 was the date that the world was going to end because of the Mayan calendar coming to an end (or Nostradamus predicting it, or whatever you choose to pay attention to), and then a couple of days ago I heard that it was actually going to end on Saturday, May 21st, which of course it didn't.  And now I'm hearing that God is actually going to destroy the universe on Oct.21, 2011, five months AFTER the so-called Rapture. Can people get these dates straight please?  If I'm expected to prepare for the end, I should at least know when the end is going to be.

I was happily sitting with my best friends at my diningroom table drinking a beer when the end of the world was supposed to happen.  I couldn't think of a better place to be if the end was near.  The next day, I searched high and low for stories about the world NOT ending, and barely found a couple.  I guess it's not big news when the world doesn't end.  They were trying to interview Harold Camping, the minister who led his Christian followers to believe that the Rapture was going to happen at 6pm in every timezone, with massive earthquakes and natural disasters, and only those who believe being "saved" and disappearing up into heaven, leaving even their clothes behind.  The media found Mr. Camping at home, somewhat embarrassed and and expressing his "flabberghast" that it didn't happen.  Well, yeah.  Someone put up a billboard on some highway in the US afterwards that said simply "Well, that was awkward."

Some will use this (and already have) as an excuse to belittle all Christians and their beliefs. That, to me, is just as ignorant as following an old man who thinks he can pick the date that the world ends.  Live and let live. I feel a little bad for him, really.  I think this man sincerely believed that it was going to happen, and I think his followers were equally as convinced.  They were not much different from the suicide bombers who were told that if they succeeded in killing infidels in the name of Allah, they would be given the gift of 47 virgins when they arrived in heaven.  Only thing is that you can't prove they don't.  At least with the Rapture, we all know the result.  Awkward, indeed.

There is certainly a lesson to be learned from all of this.  And no, it's not that people who believe in the Rapture or 47 virgins are nuts.  The truth is that the world is going to end for us all one day, although not likely all at once.  We have a limited time on this planet, each of us, regardless of how we believe it's going to happen, or when.  There were a lot of jokes going around online about what we might like to be doing when the end comes...well, we probably won't have a lot of choice about that.  But it does make you think about that bucket list.

The conversation at the diningroom table at around 6pm on May 21st with my good friends was varied and upbeat.  But we did discuss the fact that we are most of us close to or over the age of 50 and we're facing the fact that we'd better get going on those things we've been meaning to do, or the places we've been meaning to visit very soon.  Whether it's like my friend Crystal who worries that there isn't enough time to read all of the books she wants to, or some of us who have always wanted to travel to a certain place, or whether it's just learning to live in the moment, which is my desire;  now's the time to get going and start doing.

So I'd like to thank Mr. Camping for starting that conversation.  I'm not sorry that his prediction didn't come true, and I feel bad that he went so far and did so much to convince us of his theory and only ended up flabberghasted.  But if we're all really smart, we'll use our time left now, however long it may be, to learn to live our lives more fully.


IJ

3 comments:

  1. The world is not going to end such soon. I have come across lots of such cases where I know that the world is going to vanish by 2004 but still we are here.

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  2. I feel sorry for some of Camping's followers. Camping himself will be more sympathetic if he organizes relief funds for the followers who gave huge amounts of money to the cause, thinking they wouldn't need it. I read about one 60-year-old retiree who spent $140,000 -- pretty much everything he had -- on billboards advertising the rapture date.

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  3. I think we should start thinking by our self a little more. the world is not going to end, it's going to change, that's it.

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Hi and thanks for your input!