So, about this rapture thingy…Posted: May 19, 2011
I read a fair number of books about millennialism when I was in grad school. Heck, I even considered the Civil War-era movements as a possible dissertation topic. That should let you know that this latest wave of panic ain’t nothing new. As a matter of fact, comparable beliefs were part of Jewish and Zoroastrian eschatology long before Christ walked the earth.
If I felt like bothering one of these people, I have some questions. First and foremost, I’d ask them, “Really? Jesus has been slinging curveballs about his encore performance for almost two thousand years. Plenty of other movements hedged their bets on a return date and watched their reputations go poof when nothing happened. Are you sure you wanna apply a slide rule to Revelations and figure that one out? Because that book is chockfull of obtuse riddles, mysteries, and allegories. The monsters are awesome and the environmental disasters are scary and all, but theologians have been scratching their heads over its meanings for ages. What makes you so certain it’s this Saturday?
Well, since you’re so certain, do you still have long-term CDs in the bank? Did you pay this month’s mortgage? And what about credit cards? Well, then again, a shopping spree would be rather trite at this point. But would you feel guilty about your creditors holding the bag on a bunch of unpaid bills? Are you concerned about health insurance anymore? Do you worry about your food’s expiration dates? Do you even bother to keep the deep freezer plugged in these days? Are you annoyed that you’re going to miss a pretty awesome NBA Finals? The talent among the final four teams hasn’t been this deep in 20 years. And how are y’all paying for those billboards and radio ads? Did you have to sign a contract that runs past May 21? Or do you pay as you go? And what happens if the status quo prevails? Do you keep the signs up and just spray paint ‘Doh!’ or ‘Yeah, sorry about that’?”
Yeah, I guess I do have a lot of questions. But what if they’re right? What if there is a ginormous teleportation this Saturday? It would be wonderful if I got picked for that rocket ride, but what if I’m not? What happens next? Do the godless heathens left behind resume our fumbling, bumbling antics? Or do we have panic, mass hysteria, and dogs and cats living together? And if that’s the case, then I’m not happy about having to cast allegiances to either Lord Humongous or Mad Max. Do I side up with the steroid-fueled, hockey masked, and merciless Ayatollah of Rock n’ Rollah? Or do I tag along with an assuredly unstable Mel Gibson? Then again, he’s probably hedging his bets on this rapture, given his career’s recent freefall. Then again, he would be surrounded by a whole of bunch of Jews in the hereafter.
I hope our nuclear power plants have some pagans on standby, otherwise we’re gonna have scads of simultaneous meltdowns which would yield the environmental cataclysms promised in the Good Book. And to avoid mountains of flaming wreckage, we’re going to need some Buddhist copilots in our airplanes, Hindu train conductors, and Muslim barge captains. Do we have enough Wiccans, Scientologists, and Satanists on standby? Someone will have to take the wheel when all of those automobile drivers vanish.
I hope CLECO has enough qualified people actively praying to Thor, because I plan on having a post-rapture looting spree. While everyone else is hitting the gun and liquor shops, I’m going to use a mega-church’s P.A. for my band’s rehearsal gear. I’m playing demolition derby with Greyhound buses. And I’m going to turn the zoo critters loose so Alexandria can resemble the opening sequence from I Am Legend. And who among you could resist this pickup line – “Hey babe, c’mon back to my mansion. I’ve got some pet lions and alligators.” It’s gonna be awesome.
Whenever I have questions about religious issues, all I have to do is look across the dinner table. I asked my grandmother what she thought of this latest movement.
“Well, I hadn’t heard about it, but no one knows. That’s not up to man. The Father is the only one who knows when it’s time. But we should all live everyday like it’s our last anyway. Because The Lord does come for someone every day…every few seconds, as a matter of fact.”
Smart words from a smart lady. But I’ll do a bed check on her this Saturday. Just in case.