Thanks to Harold Camping of Family Radio, there's been a lot of talk about the end of the world lately. According to Harold, the end of the world was supposed to occur last Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 6pm Central Daylight Savings Time.
Evidently, Harold was mistaken in his calculations (which were many). Poor guy, I'm sure he's bummed out and maybe a little humbled. After all, he put a lot of time and research in calculating the exact date and time the Rapture would occur. Then he spent a lot of time and, I presume, money to spread the word and give everyone a "heads up" so that they could prepare.
Personally, I would like to say, "No thanks, Harold." It's not that I don't appreciate his fervor. It's just that I don't feel the need to know exactly when the world is supposed to end. I prefer to live my life in blissful ignorance of the onset of the apocalypse. After all, I think God can handle all the details surrounding the end of the world without my help. As they say in government security work, "That information is available on a need to know basis." And, I don't need to know. God has shared with me (and all of us) the tools I need to live my life here so that I can be with Him there, in the afterlife. It's my job to use the tools He gave me. Everything else is above my pay grade. ;)
I know that Mr. Camping was trying to give the unprepared an opportunity to get their spiritual affairs in order and I can't fault him for his love of mankind. But, not everyone reacts the same way to that type of news. Some may take the opportunity to reconcile with God and put things right. Others, though, may be paralyzed in panic. Still others may get the apocalyptic version of "senioritis" and take on an attitude of "Who cares? I'm outta here in a few days anyway!"
Singer Kris Allen of American Idol fame made a slightly different point in his song, "Live Like We're Dying". The lyrics of the song say, "We've only got 86,400 seconds in the day to turn it all around or to throw it all away." In other words, he's saying don't waste the time you've been given and don't take your life for granted. I like that attitude. Don't waste your limited time on earth in anger or resentment. Instead, use your time to forgive and care for others as well as you are able. That's my plan. I won't do it perfectly. I'm sure I'll get discouraged or angry or frustrated. But, hopefully, under that frustration or anger or discouragement will be an underlying and deep faith in God. And when the time comes for the world to end, I trust that God will take care of me. After all, He's doing a pretty good job of it now.
I hope this doesn't sound rude but, Harold, if you're listening, the next time you calculate the end of the world, keep it to yourself. Thanks!