Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life and Other Questions

Today I drove by a plastic sign stuck into the ground by the side of the highway off-ramp informing me that Judgment Day is coming on May 21, 2011. The end times, apparently, are upon us.

It would be easy to believe. To hear the airwaves tell it, the days are dark. People are struggling. Talking heads predict fiery collapse at any moment. It is easy to point to evidence. In the last few years, I, and many family members, have experienced the kinds of crises that force you to look life square in its spitting, frothing face and see what’s there. Physical illness, mental illness, destruction, deformity, natural disaster, plain old garden variety despair. Unemployment, the deep and profound and random unfairness of life, not to mention not-nice people and gridlocked traffic, can quickly take the shine off life.

And yet. When you look the unfairness of life right in the middle of its fat face, when a moment of reckoning is before you, when you are forced by circumstance to decide whether you will, literally and/or metaphorically, get busy living over get busy dying, to quote the Shawshank Redemtion…there is something that makes you return to that “and yet”.

Somewhere, somehow, you are not ready to give up on the strange beauty of life, moments funny and serene, an image of the moon framed in a window that you remember for no good reason, the force at once both within you and beyond you that makes you gasp for air coming up from underwater, hunger for food and sex, fear a drawn gun.

The will to live. The life force and the force of life – force, like strength, as in, you have no choice.

Like the Desiderata poem they print on things they sell at the Hallmark store: with all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

There are things that make life worth living, and there are ways to live a worthy life, and I’m just speaking for myself here, I want to discover them and do them and see what they are.


Update: Per the below comment, I have revised the mis-remembered date on the sign. And also, Ed. Note: Wow.


Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind a small administrative correction. That sign didn't say that May 11, 2011 is Judgment Day. You are remembering the date slightly wrong. The actual date that is being announced is May 21, 2011. Now, if you want to hear more about that, just read any of the following short pamphlets.

"Judgment Day":

"Judgment Day! May 21, 2011":

These findings are based solely on the Bible, not on anybody else's dreams or visions.

The Bible always stated that a time would come, what the Bible's book of Daniel called the "Time Of The End", when the seal placed by God against understanding of the end-time prophecies in the Bible would be taken back off. At that time, the Holy Spirit would allow people to see what those prophecies really meant. That's what we're daring to say has come to pass. Included in that end-time information in the Bible is the date of Judgment Day. Now, if you have had even a passing experience in the Christian church, you'll have been trained that no man can ever know that date in advance, and perhaps even that Jesus Himself did not know. Those ideas are based on very loose readings of only two verses in the Bible, Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32.

The thing that the churches don't teach people is that those verses don't stand alone, but the rest of the Bible is commentary on what those two verses mean. For instance, we learn from the rest of the Bible that Jesus is God Himself, even termed, in Isaiah 9:6, "everlasting Father". We also know, from many other verses, that God is always all-knowing, which means that Jesus always knew everything, including the date of His return. Therefore, those two verses don't mean what the churches taught that they meant. Similarly, we learn in 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 that there are two types of people, those who are saved and those who are unsaved. No person knows in and of their own essence and being very much at all. Certainly, no one knows the date of Christ's return, in and of their own internal self-knowing. However, those verses in 1 Corinthians 2 tell us that the Holy Spirit *tells* His people things, Spirit-to-spirit, things that are **spiritually discerned** (verse 14), that are unavailable to the unsaved person. The saved person reads the Bible and learns things that the unsaved person cannot know. In our day, the Time Of The End, these things include the very date of Judgment Day, as well as the nature of that final judgment, which has never heretofore been properly understood.

Please, I beseech you to check out the above pamphlets, and the larger Bible studies that back them up and are also free and on-line at, for every single truly-saved person will know this as fact before May 21, 2011 arrives. May the Lord bless you.

Oscar said...


So, after that, back to the actual topic: There is not only beauty to be found in this @#$% world, but there is beauty to be MADE as well. As in, for example, the way you put words together. And whatever it is that will be your life's work, when you find it.