Up, Up and Away
May 18, 2011 5 Comments
So, let’s see what’s going on this weekend. We’ve got the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, conference finals games in the NBA and NHL, a new episode of Doctor Who, and the world is going to end. Pretty packed. Better make sure I’ve got clean clothes.
Of course, only three of those things are actually happening (although I know plenty of folks who would say “end of the world” and “fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie” are pretty much interchangeable). Sorry to disappoint those of you who get your religious information from road-side billboards, but don’t go making dinner plans with Jesus for Saturday night.
What never fails to amuse me when this sort of thing rolls around is the absolute glee with which some of these people welcome the end of the world. Now I realize life here on Planet Earth isn’t always a bed of roses, especially compared with the eternal choir practice that’s presumably waiting for us on the other side. But are things really so terrible that the only recourse is to actively hope for it all to end? These people are like kids counting down to Christmas, except it’s the destruction of everyone and everything they’ve ever known waiting under the tree rather than the newest iteration of Elmo doll. What’s the benefit of that kind of fatalism? That things will be better in the next world? Well gee, better hope part of the entrance exam isn’t how enthusiastic you were about living in this one. God might be a little miffed if you simply surveyed this class while waiting to get into Afterlife 101.
And really, if you honestly believe this world was created by whatever deity you believe in, don’t you think it’s a bit of an insult to Him/Her/It to view their creation simply as something to be endured until you get to the good stuff? “Behold! I have given you the wonders of the stars and planets, the myriad miracles of life on Earth, the inspiring beauty of nature!” “Yes, yes, very nice, when do I get the wings and the harp?” Life is a gift, a good gift, not the pair of socks from your aunt you toss over your shoulder so you can unwrap the zeppelin. Maybe your god would like it if you took the time to appreciate it instead of dancing around celebrating its coming end.
I also can’t help thinking there’s more than a little note of superiority in all this. The whole “In event of Rapture, this car will be unoccupied” thing, where it’s not enough that they believe they’re in good with God, they’ve got to rub everybody else’s noses in it. Which strikes me as exactly the kind of humility Jesus was into. Then again, maybe that’s what he meant by, “The meek shall inherit the earth;” all the arrogant jerks will be gone with the Rapture and we can finally have some peace and quiet and actually get some work done.
Now, in the cosmically infinitesimal chance that we actually are going to be a few million people short come Sunday morning, I’d like to ask any friends who are expecting to make the trip to return all borrowed items and pay back any borrowed money by Friday at the latest. If you’re planning on hopping on board the R-Train, refrain from operating heavy machinery that day. I don’t care if it’s only a lawnmower, I don’t need your John Deere veering around when you go poof. And above all, don’t gloat. Yes, congratulations. You were right all these years. We’re going to have enough problems with the earthquakes and floods to have to deal with a bunch of sore winners on top of it.
But don’t worry, we’ll tell you how that new Pirates movie turned out.