First, the weather. It’s turned cold and raw and rainy here. There hasn’t been so much as a hint of sunshine in a week. Out of desperation I dug out the winter woolies and for the last three days I’ve been up to my ears in long underwear, thermal shirts, and heavy wool socks. Indoors.
By yesterday, the teeth-chattering was drowning out the television and I had goosebumps the size of blisters. So I broke down and turned on the heat. With the warmth came that stale, dusty furnace smell that’s as familiar as mothballs, two sure harbingers of winter. In October. Pre-Halloween October.
This, my friends, is not a good omen. This winter is forecast, albeit by unreliable sources, to be especially nasty, with sub-zero cold and endless snow. Of course, every fall, forecasters come out with the same dire warnings of massive snowfalls and Arctic temperatures. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong.
Then there’s Harold Camping, civil engineer turned biblical mathematician, he has a forecast of his own: the world is going to end today. Okay, his last prophecy for a Rapture in May was wrong. And the Apocalypse he predicted in 1994 fell through. But that doesn’t mean this one will. He’s double-checked his math and says the end will “probably” come today. The third time’s a charm, you know. A doomsday trifecta.
Camping has toned down his rhetoric some, avoiding references to wrath and judgment and torment. This time around, he thinks the end will come quietly and without suffering to those who aren’t among the true believers. They, the true believers, will quietly receive the new heaven and the new earth. No natural disasters, no blasts of hellfire, no big display.
Well, here’s my prediction: life will go on and spring will come and we’ll all win the lottery for Christmas.
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