THE END IS NEAR, at least according to the warnings of a Christian group called Family Radio. The group, led by their 89-year old founder Harold Camping, believes that the Bible mathematically predicts that May 21, 2011 (this Saturday) is Judgment Day, when a massive earthquake will shake the world and all 'real' Christians will be raptured to Heaven. This is to be followed five months later by the actual end of the world as we know it on Oct. 21, 2011.
The vast majority of us aren't taking them seriously for obvious reasons. Their mathematical formula supposedly taken from the Bible is just absolutely ridiculous for one thing. Jesus himself specifically says that nobody will know in advance when he is coming back for another. This also isn't exactly Harold Camping's first kick at the can. He predicted the world would end in 1994, but when it didn't happen, he was forced to recalculate. And then some of us subscribe to some other belief system altogether or don't believe in God at all.
Regardless of what you believe though, it is incredibly interesting to see how those who believe their world is about to end are behaving during the limited time they have left.
We all have cravings.
I crave assurance. Assurance that at the end of all this financial partnership-building I'm doing, I'll actually reach my financial support goal and be able to do the work I've stepped out in faith to do. I crave assurance that that will take place before coming to the point of giving up a year from now (although it's likely I wouldn't). I crave assurance, basically, that I won't fail. That God really is in control of this whole thing. Honest, isn't it?
That's not the only thing I crave. At times in my life, I have craved companionship. I've craved purpose. I've craved activity, food, rest, entertainment, root beer, love, and even just to be liked.
I sat down inside Tim Horton's with my small French Vanilla and Boston Cream doughnut and started reading 1 Corinthians chapter 1 as I waited for my friend Jordan to arrive. It was a pretty typical morning at Tim's. Some parents and their kids were having a grand old time at a table behind me. That is, until three older ladies who were seated nearby decided they couldn't hear themselves because of all the noise those kids were making. So one of the ladies decided to kindly turn around and remark "Take those poor kids home!"
Thankfully, the parents were far too jubilant in their celebrating to take serious offense. They mostly laughed and kept celebrating, while the comment was only met with a slightly disbelieving "Are you serious?" from one of the dads.
The three older ladies were quick to reinforce the fact that they were indeed serious.