December 22, 2012

Horse 1420 - The End Of The World (Is Still Coming For Everybody)

The End Of The World came and went. People went about their business completely ignoring the message because they didn't believe in it.
Not bothering to worry about a non existent event seems like a perfectly rational and sensible thing to do. Just suppose for a second though that the Mayans had been right. How would the world at large and people individually have changed? What might they have done differently?

Some people may have tried to live better lives in the sudden realisation that they'd have a date after which they'd be accountable to their maker. Others though I suspect, would go on an insanely hedonistic streak; trying to cram as much fun, pleasure and entertainment  into the little time they had left as was possible.
There is a song called "Die Young" which I've heard more times than I care to on the bus by an artist called Ke$ha (sic.) which apart from mentioning the words "party", "partying" and "fun" more times than necessary closes every chorus with the words "'cause we're gonna die young". Intriguingly following the wake of the destruction of 20 school children aged 6 and younger, the song has been pulled from airplay rather than having any sensible conversation about removing the guns which caused the massacre.
The point being though that if people thought that their lives were going to a sudden end, they'd suddenly react to this sudden realisation and pretty swiftly I imagine.

That is if people do know that their lives will end suddenly but what I'd they don't know?
Working in an accountancy firm, I often come across Superannuation Funds and various sorts of Testamentary and Family Trusts. We also often ask the question of people, what happens if they get hit by a bus? Worse, what happens if their whole family is on the bus and it falls off the Harbour Bridge?
People it seems, worry about their stuff and their money even more than they worry about their own soul. I will concede that if, when that hypothetical bus incident happens, that nothing happens and you just rot in the ground then not bothering to worry about a non existent event is a perfectly rational and sensible thing to do.

But what do you do? You throw a party! Eating and drinking and dancing in the streets! You barbecue bulls and sheep, and throw a huge feast — slabs of meat, kegs of beer.
“Seize the day! Eat and drink! Tomorrow we die!

- Isaiah 22:13

However, I know that things like our internal sense of justice and conscience, our capacity to love, be loved and the depths of despair that people feel when neither are achieved, our ability to imagine into the future, that consciousness is so incredibly impossible to determine where it lives and the fact that there has never even been a single atheist tribe ever discovered, mark the fact that the part that makes a human so much more than merely a bio-mechanical mass of low grade steak and mildly saline fluids, must have an existence beyond the shutting off of the machine.

I think that it's self-evident that any object which has a purpose must be fit for that purpose. If I have a kettle which suddenly decides that it isn't going to boil water anymore, or has developed a leak and gushes boiling water all over the bench top, I'm going to call that kettle to account pretty quickly; with the consequence that it's likely to find itself either as a fancy watering can (because I'm thrifty) or joining empty tins in the recycle bin.
What happens though if God suddenly shows up? The 526 bus happens to dodge the back of another car and takes out people on the pavement? The building suddenly develops metal stress and accidentally collapses? It's all very well to die young or even take four score years and ten to do it but eventually, death finds everyone and everyone gets called to account for how well they were fit for purpose.

"You’ve done well. You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!"
Just then God showed up and said, "Fool! Tonight you die. And your shedfull of stuff—who gets it?"
- Luke 12:19-20

The End of the Mayan Calendar may have come and gone with ridicule and slight sarcasm but perhaps it's fitting that Christmas is only a few days later .Christmas though contains a message which is incredibly offensive and one which people treat with contempt.
The thought that people might be held to account for their actions and that living a life to cram in as much fun, pleasure and entertainment as they can, might be shown up as being unfit for purpose is the single most offensive message ever told.
People's usual response is to go about their business completely ignoring the message because they try ever so hard not to believe in it. Eventually though death and all his friends show up and people party no more.

How would the knowledge that God might call you to account and pretty quickly suddenly change your outlook?

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