May 21, 2011 at precisely 6:00 p.m. nothing out of the ordinary happened. Most of us could make that prediction with 100% accuracy, especially since the same individual predicted the same thing in 1994. If at first, we don't succeed. . . . Although it is possible that the biblically predicted 144,000 people being 'Raptured,' out of almost seven billion could occur without anyone noticing. If it were done one by one in remote places, not in a mass grouping. The news media, however, isn't reporting isolated disappearances—yet.
No doubt Reverend Harold Camping was sincere. He reads the Bible literally, where others read it allegorically or skeptically. Checking the Internet for name spelling garnered many denouncements of his heresy as a false prophet. To be fair, not checking beforehand, they might have done so before the letdown. The media didn't report their denouncements, or religious skeptics were remaining silently hopeful.
On an occasionally informative and interesting radio show, an honest young woman admitted that she listened to Reverend Camping every day all day long for several years. Not realizing that she was becoming programmed, she also admitted that she completely stopped taking care of business. Why bother paying creditors when raptured to heaven? Apparently, not paying bills wouldn't add demerits. Not taking care of business also probably included letting cavities and waste-lines expand, hair dirtying and tangling, not to mention the body odor. Phew! Did Jesus foresee he'd be with a stinky bunch?
One lesson from failure to rapture is to take care of business in case returning as one of the Zombie Apocalypse Group scheduled to overtake the world during the 'expected' Armageddon. The least that they could be is a comely looking group of human flesh eaters! Is that too much to ask? I'd better stop there as I already got started on it, and forgot to say, 'Don't get me started on that circulating nonsense played seriously to sell books!' ;-)
Seriously. What are some lessons in all of this? We learned (or didn't) from Y2K that most human beings work toward survival.
Warnings, however, from an 'expert' at the same radio station told listeners to sell their houses as he did and move to secluded areas away from the coming Y2K upheaval. He furnished his hideout with a generator for electricity. Generators need gasoline and oil. He'd need a huge one as well a huge supply of gasoline if he were to survive any length of time. He also shored up a supply of dried beans and rice. They need hot water to cook, thus, power. Yes, he would chop wood if wood would be available. ;-) If not using brawn like the guy with the ox named Blue, he'd have to use a chain saw that needed power, eating into his supply of gasoline. Though people still use wood, only so much exists. Supplies last only so long. The more distance the expert placed between himself and civilization, the more energy he would need to get his supplies. He planned very well. Except not planning for hoards of people who'd migrate to where he hid out to avoid the rest of us. Maybe he gave too much information or only planned to sell books. The expert urged listeners to check with power companies and banks to prove to ourselves power would go bye-bye and our bank accounts poof.
Rising to his challenge earned a monthly update from power companies on their progress in dealing with the computer date problem so that the world would not plunge into darkness. Banks gladly distributed updates to reassure depositors. They had no intention of handing out free money because the stroke of midnight December 31, 1999 or January, 1, 2000, whichever, would render paper money and automatic deposits useless. So, what the heck, banks would become magnanimous. That alone would keep them on the date problem until it got fixed.
The real question is, why, do people need to see the world end, and in such a horrible manner as the Bible supposedly predicts? First, believers will have their beliefs validated.
We can believe anything. Believing in any ideology doesn't make it so. As we grow and change, so can our beliefs.
We are not, however, our beliefs. We are our actions. Actions define us more than beliefs.
We need to hang loose. Enjoy the moment. Make the world the best one we have. Incase whatever awaits us after death isn't what we planned. We can go with the flow to be as happy as humanly possible. So, best not build an ethereal house, but sweep the floor in an earthly house. If nothing exists but oblivion where we won't know the difference, we've made a difference here and now. What a pleasant surprise if something else awaits us! You're right. That is subjective.
When we obsess with the world ending, we have to look deeper. Are we being self-destructive? After all, Rapture and Armageddon are very destructive notions. It is self-hating for us to feel the need to have this outcome to eons of hard work that got us to where we are today.
What it really means, is that we hate our personal lives and want something different for everyone else too. How did we all ruin everyone else's lives? We can meditate on what we would do differently to make our lives better and move toward that end. We can also adjust to life, embracing it for what we have. It is our choice.
Not everyone has the same opportunities. Can we imagine the challenge of living life in an iron lung? Always, others exist who remind us how much we have.
The world isn't perfect. Most of us had nothing to do with its current state. Nevertheless, we should try to make it better. One significant place to begin is inside the voting booth. Who runs the joint determines the state of the world for everybody. Meditating on personal matters doesn't have a global impact for everyone to make a better world. That said, meditating for a better world then sitting on our hands and letting others roll up their sleeves is laziness. Whatever candidate we are for, we must scrutinize him or her. We must avoid checking out faces and physiques for the prettiest or handsomest. We need to recognize that even if someone doesn't share all of our beliefs, is his or her heart genuinely in the right place? What scandals hide in their closets? Searching their names along with the word 'scandals' will garner more information than we want. Sadly, it exposes those who say what we want to hear by disguising their true selves from their public reality. We must be willing to pull the lever for the one without rock star looks and swagger, but who willingly sells us out for his gain. Instead, we need to support the one who works hard, really cares, and is genuinely, who he says. Can we courageously pull the lever for the seemingly average person with solid life experience to decide wisely, who doesn't rely on partisan ideologies, as well money to get elected?
When we have a better world for everyone, perhaps, we won't be so eager to see it destroyed in some wishful Armageddon. The negativity coming from this mind-set only darkens the waters diminishing the light.
... stay tuned ...