Hopelessness, Fear, and the End of the World


Yeah, I’m posting this a lot later in the evening than I normally would.  But you gotta cut me at least a little bit of slack; I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare a post because my world was scheduled to end twice last week.  Seriously.  Quite a heavy week.  Here’s what happened and some spiritual takeaway from the whole situation.


I hope that by now you are aware of the tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College a couple weekends back.  Whenever these happen, there’s almost a cloud of grief hanging over other schools, especially those closer to the incident.  In light of these recent events, enter Mr. Insensitive Tweeter.  This sir, a former student of my school, made some vaguely disturbing tweet about my school and made reference to the past week’s shooting.  It gained some traction on the Internet, with speculations flying around from bomb threats to individual stabbings to mass shootings.  I honestly didn’t see any threat in the post, but others did, so the school contacted police to investigate the situation.  It turns out that the guy had a bad dream about a weather disaster on campus and was merely attempting to share that experience.  It was ultimately untimely and inappropriate, but not a threat.  Nevertheless, many students decided not to go to school that day (I did go to my rather sparsely populated classes).  Quite a few students didn’t even hear about it since it happened over the night and early morning, but it was still an unsettling experience


Another online religious group claimed a “strong likelihood” that the world would end on October 7th.  This group built off Harold Camping’s May 21st, 2011 prediction, claiming that the world has been under a period of judgment wherein salvation is impossible.  While this posed an even lower possible threat than Mr. Insensitive Tweeter, I still find it interesting that two high-profile doomsday-style predictions were made in the same week.


Neither of these ends of the worlds ended up being ends, but it’s interesting that they even were things. The “Christian” apocalypse prediction was even trending on Facebook (though that was probably more due to scorn than anything else).  People — even within the Christian community — have allowed hopelessness and fear to cloud their judgments.  Unfortunately for Murphy and his Law, not every bad thing will happen.  When we walk out our lives with Christ, we shouldn’t allow our bad feelings to stick around.  There’s no shame in having those feelings, but we don’t have any need for them to stay.  We can rest in knowing that in the both the tragic and the mundane Christ is redeeming his creation.  We may not see those end results in this life, but we can rest knowing that there is a hope for us in Jesus.

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