Harold Camping was right. The world did end last weekend.
The billboard I passed once a week for at least a month was insistent. The world was ending May 21st and I’d best be ready. I admit, I didn’t dismiss it out of hand. It was a strange feeling, wondering if it could be true, wondering why I wasn’t disturbed by the possibility of it, not even considering whether I was “ready” or not. I guess I figure if the world is ending then how “ready” can one possibly be?
When I was a kid I hated to study but I loved to learn. I got to the point where I realized that no matter how much I “studied” the night before a big test if I didn’t already KNOW the material it was useless for me to “study” it. I could engage the material, I could turn it inside and out to try to UNDERSTAND it but to cram it in was useless. My brain is a sponge, not a sieve. The big chunks just fall off but the small bits, the liquid of what I’m studying stays. This is why, to this day, I can tell you in all kinds of small detail about something new I’ve read but I can’t tell you the author or where I read it. The big pieces just don’t interest me as much.
I could go into a history test and could explain the feelings of the people during World War I, the kinds of jobs they may have held at the time, the condition of the countries going to war, the tensions building up to the first event of that war but the year it began or ended, any other big chunks…forget about it. I’m convinced this is why God invented Google.
In this case, with Harold Camping it was odd to me that it was the big chunks that filtered into me. I knew the date and even the time. I knew a little bit about the man making the prediction (see? Google.) It was the last part though, was I ready? Had I prepared? Had I studied? Should I cram because frankly by the time I saw the billboard it was only a few weeks away.
And what to cram?
Kindess? Mercy? Forgiveness? Trust? Peacemaking?
Harold Camping was right…the world did end May 21st….and again on May 22nd and 23rd and every day since then. The world ends every day for all of us. Our waking hours present to us the only time we have to practice all those things we’d best be learning day after day after day. You can dismiss Harold Camping and his predictions as nonsense but it is in some way a great gift to us all to have Harold and his sort around giving us deadlines. The end of the world comes every day, friends. Let’s treat each other as if everything we do and say matters…now and forever.