It just occurred to me this morning, December 14, 2012, that I was still here; my husband is still here, our dog and cat are still here, and as far as I know (though I haven’t called them) my two brothers and their families are still around because I see them posting on Facebook on the occasions that I wander over there. And our sons, daughter-in-love, and granddaughter are also, thank God, still with us. As I am no longer allowed to drive. I don’t get out a lot – nor do I have a tremendous desire to, except the loss of independence has been hard. Sometimes, you just want to get in the car and go somewhere by yourself, where no one is waiting while you browse, and I can stop anywhere I choose to take photographs without feeling like I am really inconveniencing anyone. Sometimes, just to make sure the world is still out there. Poor Hubs. . .he gets inconvenienced a great deal by me. It’s not a lot of fun – for either of us! Good thing we get our fun and laughs in by other means!
I’m telling you all this, because for those of you who were/are aware, December 12, 2012, according to a Mayan (Incan?) prediction from umpteen years ago, that exact date was to be the end of the world, or the end of the age, depending upon who was interpreting the prediction. I do not mean to sound disrespectful of the ancient traditions, and heaven knows the South American/Central American natives from hundreds of years ago were extraordinarily sophisticated and advanced compared to many cultures – even ours today, in some ways.
I am reminded of the now infamous Y2K scare. My brother John, a certified genius, prepared a very interesting slide presentation in 1999 which he presented to several different groups, by invitation. It was highly interesting and informative, from the computer-users point of view.
But, oh! the gloom and doom that was elsewhere and by others predicted. The only thing at that time that gave me pause was that in the event of universal computer collapse, would we ever see our eldest son again? He was living in Thailand at the time, teaching business English at a small technical college in northeast Thailand. It was about May or June that we started bugging him about coming home. He capitulated, and later that summer of 1999, he flew home. I’m not sure he has ever really forgiven us for “making” him come home. He loved where he was and what he did, and had plans to stay for quite a while (he had been over there about 1-1/2 years already). I think at this point the truth about our insistence that he come home is that we missed him so badly it hurt. A lot. Y2K was a good excuse to get him home!
This discussion brings to my mind a number of the “Doomsday” cults and predictions that have circulated for as long as I can remember. Since, up until today, I forgot about 12/12/12, that is obviously not a very long time, but history books do tell me that they have always been around. It seems many are always expecting the end, without any consideration of the beginning, or the now – as Nancy Hatch of Spirit Lights the Way so often tell us, (and with few arguments from me, she says it very well! LOL!)
Being a Christian, I choose to believe Jesus when he said, “”Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:35-36)
I feel no threat, nor scare, from those words, but just the suggestion that we always be prepared for the end, while LIVING in the NOW! We simply do not know, nor do we have any way to predict the “end of the world.” It seems to me to be a pretty sorry way of living, to spend all your time waiting for the end without enjoying and making the most of the present. I know people who do that, and it always makes me sad.
I have pictures in my mind of some cartoon-like setting of St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven, accepting or rejecting people as they walk on clouds toward the “Pearly Gates.” A man finally gets his turn before the key-holder, and Peter asks, “Not that it matters, but what did you do that makes you think you deserve entrance through these gates; how did you spend your life?” And the poor soul piously answering, “I spent my time picking apart every single word of the Bible, used numerology, cabal, a slide rule, and countless methods to discover the exact date of the creation of the world; I proved that there is no such thing as dinosaurs, because nothing existed millions and billions of years ago, *therefore carbon dating is a fallacy); I have combed every word of news coming out of the Middle East, where Armageddon will surely begin. I predicted the day and hour when every prophecy from the prophets of old came or will come to be. I made every single word of the Bible true, no matter how ‘contradictory’ some say it is, to the letter.”
Peter stares at him, shakes his head, and says something along the lines of, “Well, OK, if that was your choice, but DID YOU HAVE ANY FUN?? Did you enjoy your life, and the manifest goodness of your heavenly Father, who gave you so much beauty to live in, to taste, and see how Good is our God, who wanted you to show love to everyone (even if you didn’t like them), to share out of your own bounty with others who had none, as was your duty, and the reason you had anything in the first place!? And, God help me, did you and your wife have any children?” “Yes,” answered the man. “And how did they turn out? What did they do or what are they doing with their lives? Did you enjoy having them around you? Did you teach them about Love?” “Well, Sir, I really don’t know much about them. I was busy you see, doing all those really important things I have told you about. It took time, a lot of my time. It was important, so if I found out the day and the hour, I could warn everybody – even my children – that the end was at hand.”
In my mind, I hear St. Peter saying, “If you had spent your time teaching Love, Compassion, Joy, Hope, Peace and Grace, you would have lived a full and abundant life! There would have been abundance stacked all around you, you would have been aware of it, you would have shared it, and then would have kept finding more, and more, even as you gave it all away. My dear one, you would have had every minute of your life as it came, you would have shared yourself, might even have sacrificed yourself out of love. You would have had everything you need, (including any pertinent knowledge), and you would have known the joy of life, living in the present, with no fear of tomorrow. You would have laughed with your children, smiled more, frowned a lot less, and been an inspiration to many. As it is now, how many knew you, or remember you, or will forget you, long before the end of the world, (which for you is of course now) – is today the day you predicted? Did it matter? Did you matter? Dear child – WHO ARE YOU? Did you enjoy or give away one single “busy” day of your life?”
I don’t ever picture the end of that scenario. No need to. For one thing, life probably won’t end exactly that way, and if I spend much more time imagining such things, I’ll start to sound an awful lot like that man, hat in hand, standing at the Gates.
Live now. What will be, will be, in its own time, in God’s time. Make friends, not enemies, smile, laugh, enjoy creation and be good stewards of it, be grateful for everything and in everything, and most of all, be an example of love – which happens by living it, not talking about it. One more thing. . .have some FUN! You will therefore live your life with, and well enough. . .
(P.S. I recognize that some say the day of the end will be December 21, 2012. But does it matter?)