“It’s the end of the world as we know it…”
I have to admit that I really didn’t give much thought to the world ending on December 21st. Yeah, I do think that the world is getting close to the end, but I could be right or I could easily be wrong. Just because I am finally getting old enough to see more of the evils in the world than when I was young doesn’t mean that the world hasn’t always been pretty evil – it just means that my focus has been elsewhere.
When you are raising small children your focus has to be on the one who just dashed out the door heedless of the road and traffic just seconds away. When the military is moving your husband from a base in North Dakota to a base in England your focus is on making sure all of your stuff arrives, your children adapt, you get a vehicle you can drive – if you can figure out how to drive on the opposite side of the road from the side you were trained to drive on. When your teenage daughters start dating, and breaking up with their boyfriends, it can seem as though the end of the world is happening every other week or so – but it isn’t, and you adapt.
When I was a teen I talked to my grandpa about the end of the world prophesies. He advised me that every generation has thought that the world was going to end with them – and kindly didn’t point out how conceited that makes us sound – but that it somehow keeps right on going, yet, the end of our own personal worlds occurs with our last breath. We all have an end to our world coming, and Grandpa encouraged me to live my life so that I was prepared for that, should it sneak up on me unexpectedly. My grandpa was the most important man in the world to me until I met and fell in love with my husband, so I took his words seriously and tried to teach my children to live the same way.
Recent political and world events have shaken me and made me draw even closer in my faith in God and study of the Bible. When I read the Bible I discover that evil governments and evil people aren’t the invention of the 20th Century. Remember that the Christmas story ends with the baby Jesus being taken to Egypt because King Herod wants to kill Jesus and has all the boy children in the kingdom age two and younger put to death. Remember that Daniel was in the lion’s den because of political intrigue. The Bible isn’t a bunch of white-washed goody-goody stories; it tells us that the world has been evil for a long time and God has been working hard to rein it in while still allowing us to have our free will.
For many years now I have believed that if we just made our voices heard that things would be different. I believed in public discourse and political discussions. But it seems that the more access we feel like we have, the more our elected leaders manage to place roadblocks in the way to stop our message from getting to them. I don’t really trust the political process any more, because no matter what we do it seems that our leaders just go their own way and ignore the laws and the rules. When I write to my congressmen I get form letters in return that seem to say, “Thanks for writing but I’m going to do things my own way.” Now, it just doesn’t seem to me that God is leading me in that direction any more.
As I look around me I feel less and less like I have a calling to make a difference in the world at large and more and more a calling to make a difference in the world right around me. I think this is a blessing. I don’t want to feel responsible for the garbage going on in our world today; but I am responsible to make sure that I reach out in love to the people around me.
By nature I am an encourager and my gifts are needed by the people who are hurting and can’t see all the good that God placed in them and in their lives. God leads me to look past my own feelings and speak His encouragement to others – without regard for whether I think they deserve it or not, whether they did something which offended me, or if they are glaring at me, or if they smell bad. Yeah, I really do need that many reminders of what it means to “look past my own feelings.” As the spoiled-brat baby of my family I can be so good at justifying my doing what I want to do rather than what God is nudging me to do that I need to re-word it until it gets into my brain and my heart and I can respond to God’s call and begin to feel the love that He has waiting for me to share.
If my world did end today I think I would be ready. But my kids would be praying that it came by a huge meteor crashing in and destroying my house (when I was the only one in it) so they didn’t have to sort through all my stuff. As a mother my concerns are for my kids, will they be ready when their times come? And, will they forgive me if a meteor doesn’t burn up the house and they actually do have to go through all my stuff?
See, this isn’t an altar call, so I don’t have to keep it all reverent, I can toss in the real me at every turn. I hope you are ready to meet the end of your world, too, and if you aren’t you can contact me or contact someone whose beliefs you trust. But, mostly I am posting a blog that reflects me at this point in time and at this point in time these are my concerns. I am a terrible housekeeper, and have ADHD to boot, and the more I work at it the worse my house seems to get. All of which is no encouragement at all to me to keep working at it! I pray and I ask God for help and I may get one load of laundry done before I switch to work on one of the many things God has taught me that I am good at. That leaves the housework – just here waiting for the days when it is suddenly not so difficult or daunting, and there are some of those days.
So, I fully expect that when God calls me home I will leave a lot of loose ends that He will get to deal with. But He is God! He can and has handled a lot worse things than my messy house. And Praise the Lord I can go to my eternal home knowing that He knew the perfect time to take me away.
And you? How did you face the end of the Mayan calendar? Did you have a big party? Did you watch the skies? I hope you take a moment and tell me about it.