I'm sure you're all aware: the rapture was supposed to have started today. So far, I've heard no word about a massive earthquake, unlike any seen before, that started in New Zealand. The Jesus freaks down the street are still very much here and, surely, if anyone were slated to go heaven bound, they would be.
I live in Florida, so if I'm doomed to Hell, I'm pretty sure I'm already here (and have been for the last six years). The only indication that the rapture may be here is The Boyfriend™'s sudden urge toward domestication. He's on a cleaning kick at the moment and I'm feeling rather guilty about not helping. But not guilty enough to start helping before I've finished my coffee.
But all this rapture talk has had me thinking a great deal along theological lines. What if my grab bag philosophy (which The Boyfriend™ insists is just confusion, but which I insist is more along the lines of wandering) isn't right. What if that book is right? What if God IS coming back and boy! Is he pissed! Is it too late fir me to repent? Or will God be wise to my eleventh hour about face? What about The Trolls who, through no fault of their own,have not turned their hearts toward Jesus? Is God going to damn the innocents for the sins of their fathers? Further, what about all of the indigenous people, who have never heard the word of God? Are the damned by default?
If you believe Reverand Camping, the answer is yes. (Aside: is it just me or does that Camping dude look an awful lot alike that preacher guy from Poltergiest who told the family "YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIE IN THERE!")
Here's my thought on God and the end of the world. Actually, it's a series of thoughts. Semantics...
I don't think God is vengeful. I know the evangelical kooks would like us to believe so, but We're going to have to agree to disagree about that. Personally, I think God has a great sense of humor and is a rather indulgent parent.
...incidentally, I use the word God for conversational ease. I don't believe in a singular heavenly father any more than Christians believe that there's a Goddess figure floating up in the sky.
I think that, as I indulgent as God is, God also makes sure that we live with the consequences of our actions. For conversational ease, we'll call this karma.
Do I believe that the world as we know it is going to end? Yes. Do I believe it's going to end today? No. But there is plenty of scientific and anecdotal evidence that makes it plain that global scale culture (the world we live in) cannot continue to support itself.
We've become greedy, we people. We take too much and give back too little. We want bigger, badder, faster, more, more, more. We've lost sight of compassion and have become complacent and lazy. Zealotry, be it religious or capitalistic in nature, has only served to make us lose sight of our true purposes here. We've devalued thought and learning, and replaced it with sound bites and video games.
I'll be the first to admit that I succumb, more often than not, to laziness and idolatry by way of the television. When I should be painting, I'm tuned in to the latest episode of Swamp People. Should be doing Yoga, but I'm sitting on the front porch, smoking a cigarette. But my greatest sin - and the greatest sin of most of us - is complacency. We adopt a mob mentality about the gimmicks and comfort zone: if everyone else says it's OK, it must be.
But the way we live our lives is broken, and it needs fixing. But not by way of rapturing or bringing people to Jesus. We need to be compassionate. We need to embrace simplicity. We need to return to the mother and honor the gift that is this earth we live on. We need to put down our cell phones and iPads and remote controls and have block parties with our neighbors. We need to plan more family reunions. We need to reach out to that long lost friend and say hi. We need to tell our beloveds that we love them more.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love.