May I Not Get Struck Down By Lightning….

I was driving into work this morning listening to the radio and the crew was talking about the pending rapture.  The one that is coming this Saturday.  This was piggybacked with a chat about the pending end of the world.  On October 21st.

Now, before anyone goes weird on me – let me offer some pre-blog disclaimers:

1.  God and I are currently on speaking terms.
2.  I believe God has a plan. 
3.  I’ve been getting better at trying not to let my worries over whether I agree with that plan get the best of me.
4. I feel pretty confident that my current status with God qualifies me for the rapture. Yes, it will be awkward if I’m mistaken.

The topic on the radio this morning was really about ‘What Would You Do?’ 

If you knew for sure that May 21st was it for us – what would you do this week?  Or if you assumed you’d be taken in the rapture and, oops, it came and went without you – then what?  Now you’ve got to wait around until late October for the whole thing to end?  (Rip off alert!)

I know a lot of people do a lot of studies and calculating and grafting and charting and deriving to figure out these important events.  The Mayans did it.  Nostradamus did it.  But really what are the chances that someone’s quick math cracked God’s schedule? 

In some ways it peeves me that all this emphasis is being put on May 21st – there’s a fellow at work here whose teenage son has had himself sick to his stomach for months worrying about this day.  And yet I get that.  I remember reading 1984 (or was it a movie?) and dreading that fateful date.  I believe I feigned illness mid-day so I could be with my mama.  (Shenanigan Alert!)

It also makes me wonder if all the folks wandering around with signs of warning know that if things don’t pan out, then a whole lot of other folks may think they shouldn’t trust their Bibles so much anymore.  I mean, if a billboard tells you the Bible says the rapture is coming May 21, 2011 – and then it doesn’t – won’t that steer people in the exact opposite direction?  That almost makes me more nervous than the actual rapture.

I think it’s easy to see signs if you want to see signs.  Sign, sign, everywhere’s a sign, blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind…(you’re welcome). 

When the disaster in Japan took place, I had a friend freaking out because she’d read about that happening in Revelations.  Which I totally looked for and didn’t find.  I mean, yeah, I could have interpreted a bunch of stuff a bunch of different ways to come up with a correlation, but when you have to stretch it that far….doesn’t that take some of the weight of the sign away?

I saw the marquee on the local arena announcing Joel Osteen coming to speak in July.  July.  Two months after the rapture.  Joel Osteen is an extremely popular preacher (from one of those mega churches in Texas).  I like Joel Osteen – I think he’s got really good messages.  Plus you can watch him on TV – thus enabling the go-to-church-in-pj’s option.

If there were going to be a rapture, why would Joel have his schedule booked out to July?  I’m pretty sure he’ll be ahead of me on the Going Up list.  Is it weird that I feel a bit relieved to see Joel’s got plans beyond the rapture.  Or should I be alarmed?  If he can’t get in, then I’m totally hosed.

People mock me because I have a total inability to say ‘no.’ Yes, I’m that person. Want something? Need something? Have a ridiculous request? Kidney? Liver? Ask me – in my head I’ll totally turn you down, but what will come out is, “Absolutely – just let me get my paring knife and you’ll have your organ in a jiffy.”

I just like to be kind to people who need some kindness (screw the rest of you). And that involves saying ‘yes’ sometimes when I really don’t want to. It sort of goes hand in hand with my theory of you don’t have to hit up a church every Sunday to be a good person – you really can just be a good person any day of the week. It rarely even hurts.

Unless you count all the ‘situations’ I’ve gotten myself into by stupidly agreeing to something ridiculous.

So what would you do?

And why should it take a rapture threat to ponder this question?

Shouldn’t we always plan like life is short and should be fulfilled with awesome things?  Shouldn’t we always be, at the very least, acting like we’re trying to stay on God’s Good List?  Shouldn’t we always be kind and loving and open to those we care about?  Not just for a week or so before a maybe-rapture?

So I’m not going to stress too much about the rapture this week.  I’m hoping for sure that I have time for one last round of eggs and coffee Saturday morning.  Plus some good old fashioned couch time.  Maybe with Joel.  Maybe not.

What I would do is just do what I always (try) to do – be a good person and leave the worrying to man upstairs.  Note the word ‘try’. 

What will probably happen is I’ll call various family members and friends every three seconds on Saturday to make sure I didn’t get left behind.

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