Last night while watching the evening news, I was reminded of the significance of today (other than it being my wife's birthday). Today, May 21, at 6 p.m. (or, as Linda insisted, 7 p.m.), the rapture was supposed to have taken place and the Great Tribulation begun. Since I began writing this blog at 7:30 p.m., it's safe to say that either a) we both were left behind – or, at least, everyone that I know was or b) we're all good until the next minister figures out a new date for us to shout or snicker about. No, Chicken Little, it appears that the sky is not falling after all.
But at 5:59 p.m. when I opened my journal to enter my thoughts, I paused to consider what if Harold Camping had been right and today had been the onset of the Apocalypse (and on Linda's birthday of all days). What if standing outside the gate of heaven there are nice angelic orderlies who give you forms to fill out listing how you had spent your last day on this (or, rather, that) side of eternity? Here's what would have appeared on my form:
Good readingWoke up at 4:30 a.m. and read for awhile in The Return of the King (not by coincidence, mind you; I've been working on the third installment of the Trilogy for the last couple of weeks)
- I then spent awhile uploading the pictures I had taken at Ed & Emma's Spring Concert
- Having stayed up 'til midnight last night to finish watching Gran Torino, I laid back in bed to snooze for awhile and slept till after 9
- We lounged around the house in our pjs for a good part of the morning while I returned to uploading pictures and Linda worked on her family history
- In honor of her birthday, we took Linda out to the Chetek Cafe (which specializes in German cuisine) and all of us ordered the buffet
- We then drove up to Lake 7 to watch “Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides”
Well, we made it through the movie... We frequent this place a lotAfter the movie we drove over to Wal-Mart to do our weekly grocery shopping
- After helping unload groceries, I drove over to Refuge only to discover that the family that had volunteered to clean this week must have forgot and so I ran the vacuum cleaner and changed out the garbage bags
- And at 5:59 p.m., I knelt on the steps of the altar in the sanctuary and began to pen my journal entry after which I spent perhaps twenty or so minutes in prayer
- I drove home, retrieved my dinner from the microwave and watched the first 15 minutes or so of House while I ate
- Given that Ed, Emma and Christine were all out with friends, Linda, Charlie and I walked on down to Dairy Queen for Linda's birthday “cake” (or, in our case, Blizzards). Charlie downed his quickly and left leaving Linda and I to spend the next half hour or so to finish ours and walk casually home talking about life-after-kids and Ed's upcoming party.
Taken as a whole it was a fairly pedestrian day. I did not “witness.” I did “watch and pray” (much). I had no Bible reading time. I just hung out with my family, enjoyed a decent buffet for lunch and a few BLTs for dinner (with DQ for a nightcap.) Actually not a bad way to spend a day, even if it were your last day on earth.
Still, I don't know what is worse: getting caught up with the hype of some guy's crazy prediction about not just the day but the hour of the Lord's return or joining the rest of the world who is presently yucking it up at the expense of all these Christians who believed this guy. That Camping and his followers are presently the butt of many a joke they only have themselves to blame. As many a pastor will undoubtedly point out to their congregations tomorrow morning, when asked about the time of the Lord's appearing Jesus stated unequivocally, "No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don't know. Only the Father knows” (Matt 24:36, GOD'S WORD Translation.) What part of “don't know” do these (or those who will come after them) don't get? But lest I sound cynical, it's the rest of that same passage that makes me a little nervous:
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is
how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-39, NIV)
What did Jesus enumerate as the “signs of the end”? Namely three things: 1) eating, 2) drinking and 3) making plans to be married or getting married. In other words, life will be going on as normal when he appears. And if that would have been tonight in my neighborhood it would have looked like people working in their flower beds or enjoying a barbecue in their backyard or cutting their grass or tossing the ball at the Roselawn field or taking a walk over to DQ for a birthday blizzard. Just run-of-the-mill Midwest stuff, to be sure, but all signs that more than just summer is around the corner.
|My blooming Trillium|
“A perfect day,” is what Linda said to me as she kissed me goodnight a little while ago. I'm glad she thinks so. I can't help but wonder if all those people in California who had put all their chips, as it were, on 5/21/11, agree with her sentiment.