Wednesday, January 18, 2012

End of the Mayan Calendar?

Practically everywhere you look these days in most media you'll have noted that they seem to be filling their pages or airtime space with end-of-the-world articles or features, indicating the 21st December 2012 as the "prophesied" end of the world.  But what truth is there in all this?   If one had to look around at the disasters that are happening at the moment one would quickly be convinced that the end is close.  But it has been like this for thousands of years, and yet the world hasn't come to an end. 

Let's imagine for a moment this scenario......a conversation from several thousand years ago...
Mayan one: "Okay guys I've finished the calender!"
Mayan two: "But it only goes up to 21.12.2012"
Mayan one: "Ah don't worry about it we'll make a new one before then.  I would have carried on  but I ran out of room on this stone."
Mayan two: "Fair enough. Hey, imagine if people thought that the world was gonna end because you couldn't find a bigger stone."
Mayan one: "Yeah, but you'd have to be pretty stupid to think that wouldn't you?"

You've probably guessed that I don't find that the "end of the world according to the Mayan calendar" really convinces me.  I am more prepared to accept - as most scientists do - that one day the world will end and that when that day arrives we would already have already made the earth uninhabitable through our actions....and moved to another planet or killed ourselves. 

But don't you think that our own end of the world is really round the corner every day?  Death...our the only thing that we cannot foresee. So, don't you think that if we had to live each day as if today, now, was the last thing we would do before passing on to the other side, then the world would be such a better place to live in?  

Have you ever thought what could happen to all your unfinished work if you were to drop dead now?   Possibly someone could finish it for you out of respect to your memory, or that someone would evaluate it and decide that it didn't need to get done after all.  What would it matter to you at that point because you'd definitely have other things on your mind THEN!  

It could also be that at that point we'd finally have come to terms with why we had to suffer so much in this world and that now the "victor's crown" awaits us.  Or we could find out that, after all, that we'd got away with far too much in the here and now.... and have to really start suffering to make amends. 

Interestingly, I was reading 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 in which The Apostle Paul also takes up the end-of-days theme.   "...But this I say, brothers; the right time is drawn near."  He relates it more to a positive message that Jesus will soon return rather than our death (which is implied).  From now on, we should live like He is already here.  Married people should focus on more than each other.  Sad people should not merely be concerned with their sadness.  Happy people should look beyond their happiness.  Everyone should not be so concerned how they make or spend money.  Even though we make use of the opportunities the world gives us, we should not obsess over them.  "For the shape of the world will soon be gone" as Paul says.

One has to understand that Paul's "the right time" (above) is "kairos" in Greek. It refers to an event in time, a critical moment, a turning point in history. Since Paul expected the Second Coming any moment, he saw the time of his writing as a lead up to Christ's return. And in his reference to "the shape of this world is passing away", notice that Paul did not see the end of the world (i.e. its destruction), but its form or shape. Implicitly, Paul meant the rule and culture of humanity would give way to that of God.

The words of St. Paul still ring true today, even when the urgency of his message has
lost some steam. Despite the seeming delay in the Second Coming, God calls us to place
the cares, concerns, and routine of daily living into a context. And to remember who is
first in life. Our daily existence, with all its stress, should not get in the way of that

What are your daily concerns for the moment?
How can you detach yourself from them?
How can you place them in the hands of God?

The Last Word?

Make yourself at home here, come back and read some of the older cappuccino posts too, relax, reflect.... and comment if you wish....there's a comment button at the end of each post!
I hope to see you again in a few days time. Enjoy.