Monday, December 17, 2012


It's the end of the world!  ...Ok, not until Friday.  Or Saturday?  I can't keep track of these sorts of things.

It's a difficult thing to imagine.  The end of the world, that is.  It's hard to think about what it will be like when all we have is suddenly nothing and then our nothing is suddenly everything as a new Heaven and a new Earth are formed.  We can't fathom "nothing."  It's unimaginable.  That everything could just...disappear in the blink of an eye and in another blink, be transformed and become whole.  

But this isn't that.  The end of the world this Friday (or Saturday?  Seriously...somebody help me out here) cannot and should not be confused with the Christ's return, which we are confident will be the end of the world as we know it.  Do I know for sure that this isn't that?  No.  That's kind of the point. Christ said that no one will know the day, so I'm pretty certain that if we're all sitting around circling it on our calendars, it's probably not the day.  No one will know.  Not you.  Not me.  And not the Mayans, who started this whole nonsense when they ran out of calendar tablets over a thousand years ago and by the way, did not worship Christ or the Father and thus would not have based the end of their world on the returning Christ.

So that's that.

It's insane because people are losing friendships over this sort of thing.  People, chill.  This is not that.

What strikes me as even more insane, however, is our infatuation with getting ready.  Preparing for the end of the world.  There's a reality show about it (so I hear).  Doomsday Preppers, these people are called.  Rushes on bottled water and flashlights and batteries and emergency chargers and stockpiles of food and this and that and the other.  People sitting down with their families, talking about what they will do when this moment comes.  Preparing each other for the minutes after the moment, for the wake, for the aftermath, for waking in a new world that doesn't exist.

Yeah, I'm confused.  One thing I absolutely, positively, one hundred percent know for certain is that if the world ends - if the world truly, actually, fully ends - I'm going with it and so are you.  Post-apocalyptic scenarios make great movies and television, but if it's the end of the world, we're outta here, too.  There's no surviving it.  And all of your bottled water and flashlights and batteries won't do you one bit of good if you're not here to use them.

This, I think, is one of the biggest lies that we've bought, as a culture.  That there is this world and that somehow, we're in it but we're not a part of it.  Like a fish in a tank, surrounded by authentic-looking coral and sand and that little treasure chest that spits out bubbles; it's an environment, but the fish moves freely through its matter and I don't know that the fish considers itself part of the water.  From the outside looking in, though, we see the fish as a part of its bigger place.  As a part of the aquarium.  

We move about in this world, cutting through and creating a way and I think we so rarely stop to consider that while this seems to be our world, it is a world of which we are a part, too.  A world which any outsider looking in on would see not as fit for humans, but human itself.

Maybe that's why it's so messed up around here.  A few years ago when smartphones and mobile media and all this connectivity started taking over our culture, I kind of shook my head.  I remarked that we're living increasingly with the world at our fingertips, but we're taking greater and greater care never to touch it.  I still believe that.  We're so busy considering ourselves apart from the world that we forget that we are, in fact, a part of the world.

We'd be better off engaging here.  Engaging each other and engaging this place.  Understanding our role in this world instead of on this world.  Taking care to watch over one another and to watch over this earth.  To come together.  To build together.  To live together.  To love together.

This place will not last forever.  Of that, we are certain.  Of that, we have been promised.  But that doesn't mean it's going to end tomorrow.  (Or Friday.  Or is it Saturday?  Did we settle this?)  We need to stop spending our days stocking up for no tomorrow because not a one of us is going to make it there.  We need, instead, to put our stock in today.  Sit down and talk with our families about what we can do here.  Prepare each other for the moment after this one, for the aftermath of now, for waking in a world that we can make new while we have this opportunity.

Until one day, which none of us will know, this place is truly made new.  And we are, too.  And all the bottled water under Heaven will pale in comparison to the Living Water that will flow out of it.


Tomorrow, I will begin a 5-day blog series on the Christmas Gift to conclude next Monday, Christmas Eve.  You will not want to miss this.

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