Saturday, May 21, 2011
You're Still Here....So Now What?
"Come on, children, you're acting like children,
Every generation thinks it's the end of the world."
- Wilco, "You Never Know"
I've been riding along on the mockery bandwagon regarding today's dire warning of the Rapture from Rev. Camping and his Family Radio network. Now, I'm just a little embarrassed by it all. Let's review:
If you do believe his prognostication, you have to buy into the belief that the world is only a few thousand years old, and that the Bible should be taken VERY VERY literally when it says that a day to us is like a thousand years to God. This would be the criteria he used.
If you bought the ticket for his sideshow, you may have gone as far as to have naively sold all your worldly possessions, spent your retirement dollars, and will soon find yourself with a long time to go here on earth with very few resources. Yes, blind faith can lead to gullible, even stupid, actions, but it's still sad to see people fall under the wheels of the P.T. Barnum circus wagons as they leave town.
If you are a Christian but don't buy into this man's movement, you are likely embarrassed by yet another charlatan or arrogant believer who claims to know the mind of God. Your chances of adding believers to your flock thins each time one of these guys gets in front of a national audience. And today, it doesn't take much to get in front of a national audience. Jesus, believe in him or not, deserves better PR.
If you are one of the folks who has put energy into making fun of these people - as I will confess to having done amongst close friends - you've deflected the chance to be introspective about your life and how you're living it, choosing snark over sincerity. We don't know how or when the world - or our lives - will end. How we choose to live, day by day, though, is a concern of every major religion and of those who don't practice any particular dogma. Maybe this misguided bunch of doomsdayers are giving us a chance to examine our lives, whether it's for Christ, Krishna, or good ol' fashioned karma's sake.
So, what do you do on the day that is supposed to be our last? Maybe this is a chance to do a little cosmic inventory of our priorities, our intentions, and our choices. Again, whether it's in an effort to be a better Baptist or a better Big Bang humanist, at least it seems a way to find something worthwhile in an otherwise overplayed and easy-to-marginalize media spectacle.
After the satirization subsides, we're still here. And we've got a lot of problems as a human race staring us in the eye. Whatever it is that leads us to our higher selves and our higher purposes as people, maybe it's time to reengage with that. If this sad little rapture spectacle can serve any good whatsoever, maybe it will be that. But chances are we'll forget about it in a week or so. Business as usual.
Until the next doomsday comes around.