Apparently, the “End of Days” is still a ways off. Saturday, May 21, 2011 came and went pretty much as most spring Saturdays have done for the few hundred years that man has been keeping track of Saturdays. In spite of Reverend Camping’s prediction, there were no visible ascensions among those expecting the Rapture to occur at 6 p.m. in each of the time zones across the globe. Perhaps you noticed. It was in most of the papers.
I haven’t read any theories about why the ascensions would be staggered by time zones. I surmise that it would have something to do with mitigating a traffic clog at the Pearly Gates. The estimates were that some 200,000,000 would ascend. Therefore, by methodically doing it by 24 or so global time zones, it would then be possible to process a mere 8.3 million per hour. In any case, this wasn’t a problem and, if Saint Peter is still working the door, probably a welcomed reprieve from what would have been an extraordinarily busy Saturday.
I also found the 6 p.m. timing somewhat troubling. Why not 12:00:01 a.m. or perhaps high noon , but 6 p.m.? It occurred to me that such exactitude put unnecessary pressure on Reverend Camping’s math calculations. I think that accurately predicting the day for the end of time would be sufficient. After all, if the best that the cable company can do is promise to “be there between 1 and 5 p.m.”, nailing the end of days down to the minute seemed excessive. Alas, even the broader one-day window proved inaccurate.
I didn’t dismiss the prediction as lunacy–clearly, those who believed the prediction were quite serious and some made astounding sacrifices and decisions based on their belief –but I was pretty certain that if the Rapture did occur that I would be a witness, not a participant. In that role, I had several concerns in addition to the predicted “six months of hell” awaiting the Earthbound. After all, we in America have already been subjected to the start of the 2012 Presidential campaign and the announcement of another season of “Celebrity Apprentice”, punishments that would be only modestly aggravated by widespread earth quakes, violent storms, floods, meteor collisions and pestilence.
I have researched the Biblical references to the Ascension, particularly the books of Acts, Mark, Luke, Peter, Timothy and Ephesians. The exact nature of the ascension process for believers is not well described. I was eager to observe whether they would float majestically up and up and up and gradually disappear or would they, more in line with a bottle-rocket, fire off into the blue, leaving only a slight contrail of dust and perhaps the odd shoe or piece of loose-fitting clothing. As it didn’t occur, at least not in my neighborhood, I still don’t know and therein lies my disappointment.
I also wasn’t sure whether the devout were supposed to be outside at 6 p.m. or if they could successfully ascend from inside a structure or vehicle. It seems to me, if the ascending body is still in its corporeal shell that it wouldn’t be a good idea to be inside where the family room ceiling could otherwise spoil a rather significant event. Then too, I have seen the bumper sticker: “In case of Rapture this vehicle will be unoccupied.” This begs the question: when the Rapture does occur can we “left behinds” legally drive those cars and will our current collision insurance apply? These are practical matters that don’t seem to get much attention.
Observoid of the Day: If you suddenly have a very clear memory of something that happened yesterday, you are having a “junior moment”.