Apocalypse Later

Meadows near Columbia River

Image by palestrina55 via Flickr

Being that we were on holiday in the Columbia River Valley in British Columbia if the world had actually ended Saturday, we’d have seen it coming. As one of the last time zones to hit 6 P.M., we should have been greeted with tales of mass vanishings and mayhem with our breakfast, but God, it seems, had not received the text or if he did, stubbornly decided to stick with his own random scheduling because the world was the world – same as usual.

Oh, there were earthquakes. Normal, apparently, for their global addresses. Flooding frustrations continue as do raging forest and grass fires. Tornadoes killed people. And I imagine the very usual death and destruction of multiple Middle East wars – civil or not – made a few more marks on the universe’s karma, the earth’s landscape and people’s lives.

On the drive home we passed at least two churches with jam-packed parking lots with nary a decorated limo in sight, and I wondered how those people could persist in a faith clearly unfounded and how they would rationalize the non-coming of Christ when May 22nd arrived.

But I knew they would. If you are so unhappy with your life that you long for the deaths of not just strangers but people you might really know and love, coming up with a new story to explain why The Rapture didn’t occur would be relatively easy for you.

Let’s face it. For some folks, life sucks. It might be tangible suckiness like home foreclosure, unemployment, physical affliction or emotional fulfillment, or it might be some slanted view of reality that doesn’t allow them to see that life is about choice and they aren’t doing such a hot job of making good ones. Whatever the reason, there are people for whom the hope of a God snatching them out of their clothes and planting them in paradise is appealing. The fact that others suffer and are victimized in effect by a supposedly caring deity doesn’t appear contradictory to them which just confirms – in my mind – the whole idea that “quiet lives of desperation” isn’t just a nicely written descriptor in a work of fiction.

Today is another day, as Scarlet once said. And though a 12 mile high volcanic plume over Iceland threatens European air travel and decent summer temperatures again, I feel that we can safely call the ball on this last end of times prediction a big miss.

Ah well, we still have the Mayans, 2012 and a rapidly descending United States, don’t we?

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