If 521 really is the day of judgment, then it is the biggest thing in the history of the, well, I was going to say universe. Bigger than creation? I dunno. But big. Really big. I was surprised to see the signs in NYC. NYC! Not really so much surprised as disappointed. I was kind of hoping for a respite. The wondering; wondering if it is true at all. What if it is a few days off? M says that it would be just like “that jolly old jokester” to come back a day earlier or later than predicted.
Camping does seem like, that is to say when I hear him and watch him, as I did on TV in NYC, he seems like, well, if not crazy, at least something seems off. He almost seems dangerous.
He is not lovable, at least in the media. I have read that he has a gentle, humble appearance. One thing I was thinking was that he seemed frail. And old.
And then I think that maybe this whole thing – all his years of study and developing this theory – comes from his own fear of death. Then I read just that on some blog somewhere.
There are a lot of people fretting over this thing. Whatever is going on, it is spiritual and it seems imminent.
So. Four days off. I will say that it is cause to inspect one’s own internal spiritual landscape. I would not as I told J today, talk to anyone in an evangelical sense about this. I guess that is an indication that I do not really believe it. I certainly would not want to be among those using it as an evangelical tool (“tool.” Ha.) And if 521 passes and nothing happens, then what? It does not mean that the hope of Christianity is over. I will still believe in the work of Jesus to save humanity.
I belive His work is universal, not only for those who believe in a certain way. There is the rub. Nobody can quite agree on what the Bible has to say about that. Just how is one saved? And from what? I know the PFEC community I grew up in was/is sure that they have it right. And there is pretty widespread agreement amongst the varying divisions of that following on certain basic tenets – that Jesus is God, that He came to save us, that He did it by dying on a cross and being resurrected from death; He conquered death that had been imposed on us (the human race) as a penalty for our sins; our mistakes, our utterly depraved hearts.
There is a lot of scripture slinging that goes on on all sides. “Read it for yourself” I am told. I have. I do not read the Bible much lately. I do read scripture almost everyday. It comes to me in the email. I do find comfort in scripture. There are also a lot of what I call hard teachings that do talk about hell. Those make it seem that there is a strong likelihood of pretty much everyone going there except some very few true and very righteous believers. But there are plenty of examples of God’s mercy and love too. I am depending on the mercy and love part. Give me Mercy over Justice any day.
So, C has retired and she is pretty cute about it. Clearly she would be pissed to have that cut short on 5/21. But wouldn’t one as a true Christian be rejoicing in the thought that instead of slogging through another 15 or 20 years of life here on the planet, she (and I, hopefully) would ‘be caught up in the air to meet our Lord’?
I am not too eager to meet Jesus because I feel like I have been such a bad guy. So unfaithful, so weak. So doubtful. I guess I am not alone in that. I was reading about the apostles in Gethsemane and Peter’s lack of faith. It is wearying, trying to be good. Look, I may not live long enough to get any better. Let go and let God? I do want to but there is a sinew in me that resists it for some reason. Pride? Have I just too many fatal flaws?
God, please show up. I give. I will not question you any more. I will not question that you are in charge of my life and in fact of the whole universe. Give me the peace to rest in the comfort of your love. Let me know your love. Anne Lamott says she has only three prayers: PLEASE. THANK YOU. And WOW. I got three too: Please, show me how to do this. Thank you, Jesus. And – I am so tired.
The end of the day, the beginning of the evening. Writing to nobody. Looking through piles of scrap paper that represent what I jokingly refer to as ‘notes’. Pieces of paper that I think are important, that contain thoughts I have had or notes I have taken and mostly forgotten what they mean. Names and phone numbers written down that I can’t remember anything about them. Some I look up: one such piece of paper held the words scrawled at the top “SIMNEL CAKE”. Looked it up on BING. It is a fancy almond paste marzipan type cake used for celebration in England. I wrote it down when talking to L, who told me that she was making one for Easter, I think, and made me promise to “tell Mom”. I didn’t, but I think she did. You get the idea. Trash. Here’s a couple:
What if I AM taken?
Who will take care of Dylan?
Not going to talk much about these lines. Except to say that JD told me today that he saw a headline in the local paper that said “Atheist Will Care For Raptured Saints Pets: $350 In Advance”. You can’t make this stuff up.
This is from PW. A worship and meditative web site. Taize. That too. Check it out. As Art said “I cain’t describe.”
Talked to M.
Bottom line for him he said, was he hoped that “ God heard that little chubby 9 year old that prayed the sinners prayer. Just like the little skinny 9 year old Hindu boy who prayed the same prayer.”
“I’m not Hindu.” I said.
Then he said he was going to break one of his cardinal rules.
“Which one?’ I said. “Never take a shit in the mens room at a bar?”
“No” he said. “Never tell a joke on a cell phone.”
Then he proceeded to tell me a joke about a moth who went in to a podiatrists office. The moth was mentally disturbed. The podiatrist said why me, why not a shrink? Punch line the moth: “Your light was on”.
We laughed til we choked.
I told him about thinking a lot about John Cougar Mellencamp’s line “life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.” He sang a few of the other lines. I said I really liked the part of life being a thrill. He said sometimes it isn’t. I said it is a choice.
Then I told him about the Zen story I heard where life is like a river falling over a cliff – in the waterfall the separated droplets represent conscious life, while the river before and after the cliff represent the flow of all life.
He liked that.
Zen. I hear a lot of purported ‘Zen’ and ‘Buddhist’ crap quoted and talked about. Like what I just wrote about. I think it sounds really great and insightful and ever so spiritually in-tune. And then I think: hey! Aren’t those the guys in the orange robes who set themselves on fire?
Today on the way back to the shop, I was listening to a show on radio – the “Mutual Fund” show – And the guy said in signing off – “There is a fella who has spent his entire retirement – $140K on billboards announcing the end of the world next week, Saturday May 21st, 2011.
Of course, as a follower of that irksome prediction, I know that 521 isn’t the EOTW but rather Judgment day; the EOTW isn’t until October. ” So if this guy is correct”, he said. I will not be on the air next week.” He said it pretty deadpan, although I could tell he didn’t really believe it, nor was he a student of it, like I am.
I called M. I told him about the guys comment. I wondered if he heard it too, because he listens to the same show sometimes.
“No, I didn’t hear it. I’m not surprised though.”
“Yeah,” I said, “I am.” I am surprised at the extent that it – the prediction – has seeped in to the culture.
Practically everyone you talk to has heard about it.
Then I told him the joke about what Japanese men do when they have an erection: They vote. He liked that one.
I told him about my dualism, my belief being on a switch that I sometimes control, sometimes don’t. How this morning making tea I heard myself humming the lyrics to Lennon’s “God” – “I don’t believe in Buddha, I don’t believe in Jesus”.
Interesting that I should be humming that instead of some praise song or hymn. But does it really indicate the state of my belief? I think not.
I speculated about the angels ratting me out to the Lord: “Lord, Lord; guess what SD is doing now? That’s right, humming heretical songs! By John Lennon!”
M talked about how he is reading “His Utmost for His Highest”, a devotional book by some famous preacher. And today’s reading said something about belief not being enough to get you into heaven.
What is enough I said? Maybe trust. Total submission. OK God I give up. I think that is much more important. I can’t add anything to the process of salvation. If I could then I would be god.
There was a pause I the conversation.
I said: “I have to say something.”
“His Utmost for His buttmost.”
Gales of laughter.
“Ok, that’s it. We have determined your spiritual condition.”, he said.
I said,”Yeah the angels have another one to report me on.”
“Oh that one’s skipping the angels entirely, and going directly to the Lord.”
There was also the reference to “sitting in the seat of the scornful.”
I told him the Helen Keller Joke; why does she masturbate with one hand? So she can moan with the other.
I think that is where we left it.
OK, I’ve had it:
New York’s View
The Tri-State Area will get two opportunities to see Endeavour flying with the ISS. The first will come on Saturday The Tri-State Area will get two opportunities to see Endeavour flying with the ISS. The first will come on Saturday morning, just over 9 and a half hours after both vehicles have undocked; so they will still be relatively close to each other. The two spacecraft will emerge from out of the Earth’s shadow at 5:21 a.m. EST, at an altitude of 18-degrees above the north-northwest horizon. morning, just over 9 and a half hours after both vehicles have undocked; so they will still be relatively close to each other. The two spacecraft will emerge from out of the Earth’s shadow at 5:21 a.m. EST, at an altitude of 18-degrees above the north-northwest horizon.
This after reading some citizen’s blog that they thought it a possibility that the shuttle, knowing that 5/21 was, well, what Camping says it is, is actually carrying “mother Nature’s silver seed” as NY put it, to “a new home in the sun”.
Really, I think this will about do it for me. Probably won’t get another post in before 521.
I am chairing at my meeting Saturday, so we should know by then. HC says the earthquakes should start about 2:00 AM EST, in Australia, and work their way around the world. By meeting time they should be about to Israel.
I kid you not.