That pit in your stomach today could really be a handful of things. Perhaps it’s from chasing a couple of Old Fashioneds with all that wine. Perhaps it’s from leaving your car in a tow away zone between the hours of 8 AM- 4PM mistakenly believing you’d remember to move it on time. Or perhaps it’s because today, with much less fanfare, is the latest End of Days prediction from Harold Camping. Yes, admittedly even for a paranoid self-described apocalypse watcher like me, Camping’s predictive ability seems to have a bit of the shotgun approach. I suppose if he keeps trying someday he may just be right.
As you will recall I detailed the last End of Days countdown fastidiously right here on this very blog*. I’m afraid I’ve let you down this time around however, and like a thief in the night our (potential) reckoning day has arrived. I realize that many readers may be skeptical and to that I offer insight from our other great modern-day theologian, Charles Schulz. In his seminal work “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” Schulz shed much needed light on the if / when dilemma of belief and spiritual arrival. How this relates to us today is simple; on that fateful May day Camping blinked. He learned the hard truth about faith and absolutism. There can be no if, there is only when. The problem though is we are an if kind of people. It is far too easy to, like our hero Linus, make a slip of the tongue and make concession to relativism. Today, I’ve read that Camping has already and before the time of rapture has used disclaimers such as “possibly,” “probably,” and “maybe.” That could be seen as a divine dare, but who in fact would dare the divine? It seems more like a losing game to me. So, I’m forced to try and reconcile Camping’s new found spiritual ambiguity with his carefully worked out mathematic equations calculating the rapture. I admit I am unable to do so.
I often turn to Yeats during times of personal malaise. His words can make this muddled world seem clearer. His turning gyres are as outlandish as my adopted belief of jars within jars, but what’s that compared to beings springing forth from ribs, golden tablets found in lost American woods and people and H Bombs being dropped into volcanoes as an evolutionary step? So, perhaps what vexes the mind today isn’t parking tickets and aching heads, faulty predictions and whether or not the Great Pumpkin will finally show, but what rough beast, its hour come at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
*The Original New End of Days Boogie Countdown