Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The end is nigh! ...or not.

I'm finally getting back in the swing of things, after pretty much taking the last three weeks off except for a few appointments. Within the next week or so, I want to go on a photography excursion to town because I haven't done a lot of urban photography in St. Stephen, and I want to put a local spin on what I learned and discovered this year at NBCCD.

As you might've heard, this weekend was supposed to be The End. Some of my friends and I had way too much fun mocking it on Facebook (we weren't the only ones: leading up to the twenty-first, #Rapture was a popular hashtag on Twitter; the day after #SurvivorSunday was trending, also on Twitter; and people had fun laying out clothes to look like they were all that remained after the owners of said clothing were "raptured"--examples here, here and here, and check out the Flickr group for more awesomeness).

What really bugs me is that for all his study of the Bible, Harold Camping (the guy who came up with May twenty-first as the date of the Rapture) somehow missed this little verse, which pops up twice in the gospels: "But about that day or hour [of the Second Coming] no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."--Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32 (NIV). In other words: the date and time of the Second Coming/Rapture is top secret, known only to God the Father--no one else, not even the Son. Then again, I think humans as a species have made it a point to skip that little verse: we've tried to predict the date and time of the Second Coming since just a few years after Christ's death. I can picture Him shaking His head and saying, "you just don't get it, do you? Even I don't even know when I'm to return."

And then there are all those people who actually believed Mr. Camping--some of whom gave away/sold everything they owned, and who systematically spent every penny so that, come Judgment Day, they'd have nothing left. So now they have to start from scratch. Job--gone (though some basically took a vacation--they didn't officially resign). Retirement fund--gone. Kids' college fund--gone. Life savings--gone. Dreams and plans for the future--pushed aside because the world will end before those dreams come true. So while I had a blast mocking the supposedly-imminent Rapture, I also felt terrible for those who now have to start completely from scratch. Those who are now penniless, who don't have anything in the fridge or freezer, etc.

So while I spent a few days mocking the Rapture (while predictions of The End happen regularly, this was the first one that I took note of), my thoughts were (and still are) with those who believed that the world would end on May twenty-first.

When I went to Twitter to get the links for the hashtags in the second paragraph, I came across a tweet that someone had posted, saying that Mr. Camping has moved the date of the Rapture ahead five months, to October twenty-first, 2011. I have no words to describe what I'm thinking right now: I'm speechless. For one thing, in Judeo-Christian terms, the guy's a false prophet and he's leading people to believe things that don't end up coming true, and which cannot be predicted in the first place. And for another, no matter what, it's a bad idea to follow someone like that. Not only do people believe him, but they're willing to give up everything--and I mean everything--in the process.

I will be participating in Sunbury Shores' second annual "Guess Who?" fundraiser. The actual event will be in October. The canvas is due on September first, so while I've got about three months to play with, I need to start brainstorming and coming up with ideas ASAP.

Last year's creation (which sold): What Really Matters.

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