Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The End



I like things starting. I hate for things to end, except the "foreordained" kind - like in movies and books, graduations and operations - they are supposed to end, to be finished at some point.

But things like friendships, marriages, favorite heroes in fiction - when they "end" we have to kiss something goodbye that was a joy in our life - sometimes, in extreme cases, the only joy we had.

I remember hearing that Calvin and Hobbes was ending. Man, good thing Bill Watterson was so reclusive - I think he would have been mobbed and forced to produce more strips by federal law if possible. [BTW, Watterson held firm that he would NOT merchandise his icons into stuffed animals, etc. He would have made millions, as Charles Schultz did, if he'd allowed it. So for Calvin and Hobbes to disappear from the funnies was especially painful. We got a reprieve when we discovered they would be reprinted daily... whew!] [Late edit: in February 2010 Watterson was interviewed about his view of leaving Calvin and Hobbes - read here.]

This week Oprah Winfrey is ending her show and starting her own network after 25 years.

No single black woman has ever achieved so much wealth and fame and power. Like Johnny Carson before her, she is iconic. One woman said, I nearly quote, "I will need therapy without Oprah to watch!"

This past month, Smallville ended its tenth season, and did everything it could to restore the Superman mythos in an almost Dallas 'dream sequence' ending - even going so far as to use Superman IN COSTUME - to save Air Force One and physically fight Darkseid, finally breaking the "no tights, no flights" rule established for this 'boy becomes a man becomes a hero' series, notable for its constant emotional chaos, extreme closeups and soap opera-esque relationships between its main characters.

Some people don't want resolution, just more talking, I guess. Smallville finally stopped talking and put us all to rest. To be fair, I did enjoy the last-minute "Should a superman marry?" conundrum that allowed Lois Lane to see what she was asking Clark to give her - and what he himself already knew- that loves involves sacrifice, and yes, Superman is NOT God - marriage for him, could be either another duty or the reason for his duty. It sorts of depends on how demanding Lois is, doesn't it? They called it well, letting both see the challenge and letting love win out.

Osama bin Laden's reign of Al Quaeda is ended because he is dead. I have nearly no compunction about saying such a man is in hell - along with Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin - because their unrepentant evil was the hallmark of their life but I will also say I am not warmed by that thought. Another will take his place, I am sure.

I have seen more endings than beginnings this past month. A dear friend was let go after working 25 years at a company, losing not only her job but her friends, clients and co-workers.

I have seen a young lady graduate college and two days later and 500 miles away, witnessed the son of my high school sweetheart getting married. I have to admit, he is one cool dude. A Navy guy, he says he "married way above his pay grade." We met well and I confess he has the best features of his mom and his dad. I could not help but think that if I was in some alternate reality this could have been my son.

If he were, I would be proud of him; I am certainly glad to see how things 'turned out' for his mom. It was a good beginning [just a stunning wedding reception, let me tell you!], and a good ending of his childhood.

And as we wrap up...
Lastly, this week, Harold Camping a broadcast preacher of some infamy [he's been off-track on biblical doctrine for YEARS], finally blew his cover by announcing the world will end with Christ's return Saturday May 21st, 2011.

We are all still here. Harold obviously forgot this passage in the Bible, spoken by Christ:

Matthew 24:36-55
The Day and Hour Unknown
36But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."


Now guys, it doesn't get any clearer than that. Why DON'T people read their Bibles and trust them? It'd save us so much heresy and time and money!

The reason Jesus warns us at all is because, when it SEEMS God is NOT going to come, we tend to get fearless - and ruthless, turning on others and treating them as if NO judgment will ever come! Read the following:

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Those strong words remind us to do our jobs and do them right - loving God and our neighbors - and not to worry WHEN Christ will return and "THE END" will come.

Everything that has a beginning in our universe has an ending. Let us be faithful and wise and don't worry about the end. It WILL come.

You may meet Christ tonight due to a car wreck or a heart attack. The job and duty and love affair is to remember He is ALWAYS here and is ALWAYS watching.

And that, dear friends, is the end of this blog.

Amen.

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