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Columns

December 16, 2012

A better use of the Mayan calendar

Ada —  

Few things are more disturbing than predictions of the end of the world. Not because there’s any validity to them. As Hank Hanegraaff, The Bible Answer Man says, end time predictions are notable only because they are 100 percent wrong, 100 percent of the time.

 

The disturbing part is that so many people believe them. As Friday approaches, reports of the Mayan calendar predicting December 21stas the day the world will end will build to a climax. 

 

Occasionally one of the firecrackers we bought as kids on New Year’s Eve would fizzle and sputter wildly on the ground rather than pop. We called these “shoo-shoos” and joked about getting our money back. For those expecting world disaster Friday, the event will be a “shoo-shoo” in which there will be no refund for the time invested worrying about it.

 

It will be a flatter failure than Y2K in the year 2000 when worldwide computer calamity was predicted. On December 22nd silence on the subject will be nearly deafening when it becomes clear all that remains to be seen is when the next silly end times prognosticator will come along.

 

The best part of the so-called impending Mayan planetary tragedy has been the spate of disaster movies filmed as a result. I love ‘em and it took me a long time to figure out why. It’s not because of some death wish. It’s because while watching them my problems are rendered puny compared to what those poor folks on the screen are dealing with.

 

Few things put life in true perspective than the prospect of impending earthly doom and, if nothing else, these movies help us broach what could be a sensitive subject.

 

Just for a minute, pretend there really is something to this Friday end of the world thing. To what degree would our attitudes, concerns and priorities change if we knew for an absolute fact in five days oblivion would manifest itself not just for ourselves but the rest of creation? For many of us the answer would probably be quite a bit.

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