Back at the New Year, I did what a lot of people do, and I went to a party. At this party, I first was told of the apparently popular theory that the world is going to end in 2012, on December 21 to be exact. The fellow who was telling us this seemed quite confident that it was going to happen. Apparently it has something to do with the Mayan calendar.
Not everyone agrees with this theory, however. Yesterday, in the local daily paper, there was a full page advertisement saying that the end of the world was to be May 21. (That would be today, in case you weren’t paying attention.) Further research tells me that the time of this event will be at 6:00 pm, PST. While the exact nature of the 2012 end is a little vague, I gather that today is to be the long-awaited Judgment Day, where a process called the rapture will result in some people being taken to heaven and the rest of us sent straight to hell.
To add further confusion to the dilemma of whom to believe, I have a friend who is getting married today. He and his fiancée have Chinese backgrounds, which means that they employed a fortune-teller in choosing their wedding date. That fortune-teller told them that today would be a lucky day to get married.
Well. These are interesting thoughts to chew on.
I am conservative by nature. Not politically, but in my actions. If today really is judgment day, I have about twelve hours to get my act together if I don’t want to go to hell. Now, I don’t actually believe in hell, but I have been wrong before, and I do like to hedge my bets. If the people who know about these things know what they’re talking about, it looks like something I’d rather avoid. I’m not sure how I would go about doing that though.
The advertisement I read yesterday seemed quite clear that avoiding hell today would require repentance and conversion. This was highly recommended as the most prudent course of action. Seems straightforward and easy enough, but you would also think that a last-minute conversion performed solely to keep oneself out of hell would be a little transparent in its insincerity. As a cynic, I know that’s how I would view such an action. Presumably an all-knowing God (all-knowing implies to me an ability to read thoughts) would see through it too. Probably it’s petty, but if I were the one judging people, I know I’d hold that tacit insult to my intelligence against them.
So, being a pessimist, I’m going to have to assume that I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
Which leaves me with figuring out the best way to spend the next twelve hours, the next year and a half, or the undetermined time that is the rest of my life. I wish I knew which one it was. I would behave quite differently in each circumstance.
If it’s the rest of my life, I’ll probably just carry on as I have been. Planning for a long life requires a lot of boring, practical decisions.
A year and a half? I would stop putting money into a retirement fund, that’s for sure. In fact, I’d cash that thing in. Ditto life insurance. And I’d sell my apartment and quit my job. I’d use the money to go traveling. And to go on a balloon ride. And to buy a kitten. I’d probably stop caring too much about recycling.
Twelve hours though – it’s really not a lot of time to do anything all that dramatic. I’d probably not bother to clean the dishes from breakfast. I’d still go to the wedding, because I do love a good wedding. And I wouldn’t feel at all guilty about eating cake when I was there. Actually, that’s probably something I’d enjoy – eating all the foods I love that aren’t good for me. I might also be inclined to try drugs. (I never have. I am probably the only person you have ever met from BC who has never smoked weed.) And I’d go get a super-expensive massage at a fancy spa. And I’d hold my husband’s hand for the entire day.
If only there were a way to know for sure. I guess I’ll keep my retirement fund, carry on recycling, and stay ignorant to the experience of heroin. I will, however, hold my husband’s hand and eat wedding cake today. And if we’re still here tomorrow, I might just look into booking that balloon ride.