Monday, May 23, 2011

The Rapture

Lots of rain lately in this area. No deluges like those that have been occurring in other parts of the country but enough rain to keep the ground wet, especially in the morning, and keep the grass growing. Unfortunately, it also means I am using a lot more bags to deliver papers. This, along with the high amount of gas I must purchase, continues to bother me. I imagine that these concerns will push me to find another source of income, but I will miss the "musing" time that this early morning endeavor provides.

This past weekend, Saturday evening to be precise, was identified as a possible day to mark the beginning of an "end of the world" process that would culminate in October. Apparently, a man named Harold Camping, a fundamentalist, radio talk show host, had predicted this end some time ago. To give him credit, he included some pretty specific details so it would be obvious if he was wrong or right. And, as has been true of all previous prognostications concerning the end of the world, Mr. Camping was wrong in this case.

As a result of this not-end-of-the-world event, there were many jokes directed at both evangelicals like Harold Camping who continue to make their living by scaring people into believing their particular viewpoint is the ultimate one, and, of course, the believers themselves. But despite the fact that the sun came up on May 22nd disproving this week's end of man prediction, there will soon be another prophesy, and another end date revealed.

Science tells us that the earth has existed for a few billion years while man has only been present on earth for a few million years. A simple calculation indicates that the world (Earth) has existed without man for well over 99% of its existence. Chances are the Earth will continue rotating and revolving for quite a long time once all traces of mankind are gone so to me, all this end of the world talk should more precisely be labelled end of man talk. Perspective can be a funny thing.

Yet there is a serious side to the never ending end-of-man talk. Because the fact is, Saturday, May 21st did mark the "end of man" for approximately 150,000 humans on earth as that is the number of people who die everyday. This number includes mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and good friends. For them, the prediction was all too true. And for their families, while
May 21st may not have marked a global end, it certainly changed their lives forever.

So, perhaps end of man talk can serve a positive purpose. Not by scaring us to adopt a certain faith but by reminding us how precious is life and how important are the people who share our lives. The end of man will certainly come some day, but in the meantime, the end of particular men and women will be grieved and lamented, 150,000 times a day. Perhaps we would be better prepared for that "end time" if we lived our lives by doing more to demonstrate our love, first, for those most important to us, and second for all those other fellow travelers who share our time on Earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment