Monday, March 8, 2010

What Am I Worried About?

Saturday, testing a device to send a signal from the family room to the dining room, I played a video from Smithsonian. title: "How the earth was made."

It's actually an amazing video, not only showing a complete time line of the 4.5 billion years the earth has been here, but also, briefly, how we know that it was 4.5 billion years. Mind you, I spent most of the time of the video fiddling with antennas and settings, so I didn't get the details down. However, what I saw was clear and compelling and a fantastic scientific presentation of what we know of our earth and how it came to be. The video ends with "where we're going."

The future, according to the scientific vision, is bleak. The current arrangement of the continents is temporary. The great Pangea of early life will reform. However, it will be the last reformation of the continents and the end of life on this planet. The planet will, essentially, run out of gas and be unable to sustain life.

Mind you, that's 250 million years from now. But it got me worried.

I've always been worried over the future of the planet and my little future in the context of the future of the planet. I remember as a little guy, maybe eight or nine years old, being shown some film about the planet and its future. It was at my church and probably at the instigation of my Pastor, so it was probably a fundie film from the Moody Bible Institute.

The thought that there was or would be an apocalypse sometime scared me. Still does. Can't do anything about it, but it scares me. The visions of doom that History Channel regularly projects in their "Life After Humans" series don't fascinate me, they frighten me.

I know this says more about me than about the world.

Why does contemplation of ends frighten me? I've tried over the years to do those things that will make it less frightening. I've spent quality time with the Revelation to St. John. I know that that is not, in fact, a book about the end of earth, but rather a book meant to comfort those under persecution - "You see how bad you've got it, just wait and see what's going to happen to your enemies - and look, you're being cared for even after being killed." I get that. I don't find it particularly comforting, but I don't find it frightening either.

I've tried to look the end in the face and stand firm. But I flinch. I am a coward. I'd like to not think about my demise, not consider the demise of this earth, but I seem to be powerless.

What I need is someone whose vision is clearer than mine who will help me see that there is a reason to rejoice, even if the whole globe goes dark in 250 million. Somebody, convince me!

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