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World without end

By Debbie Olujobi

There have been many doomsday prophesies over the course of my life and I am sure there were many before I was born. Inevitably there will be many more, long after I am gone. There seems to be some collective awareness that the world will end; the differentials are the ways it could.

I personally hold the view that the world ending is an individual thing; doomsday is the day you die or come to an awful end. I should mention that I believe in the rapture too and my preferred ending would be to ascend to heaven in the company of the saints and angels to be with The Lord.

This year alone there has been at least two dates that some people were sure the world would end and they have been wrong. Their predictions have been taken seriously by some and most of us just carried on. It’s not completely improbable that the world could end. After all there are weapons of mass destruction that could in minutes wipe out life in all its forms and there is enough evil in the world to end it.

Evolution in itself is a process of growth and continuous change; that could be seen as an indicator that an end is likely in some manner someday. The doomsday prophesies continue to thrive and I must admit that those who believe in them hold some fascination for me. They remind me of some Nigerian politicians; creatures of desperation; holding on to power and life at any cost.

I watched many underground bunkers on television, built to survive nuclear, chemical and other cataclysmic explosions this week and I was fascinated as well as repulsed by the desperation and narrow-mindedness of those who would live like rats on the remote possibility that they could survive the doom they dread.

I can understand migration for reasons of war and carnage but why prepare to die when you could just live? A few months ago, a doomsday cult was discovered in Russia; they had lived underground for decades in an attempt to avoid the destruction predicted by the leader. There were young adults who had never seen the sun, young children forced to live like moles in a community that was so focussed on death, they forgot to live.

The above examples may be extreme and not apply to most people but at some time or another most of us have delayed living to focus on death, or a future that is at best uncertain. There is a morbidity attached to death that gives it more power than it actually has. Jesus said it best when he said we need have no fear of those who can take life; he said we should fear Him who can take the soul as well. Whether we like it or not the cycle of life includes death and it goes on and on.

Someone not too long ago said I was rock hard because I take matters of life very lightly; like death is no big deal. I don’t agree that I am rock hard but I do believe that death is not a big deal. The truth is that life by nature is terminal; every day you live is another step towards the grave. I made my peace with that a long time ago. That mind-set makes living a lot more fun as I don’t take anything for granted.

I live like I am dying because I am; so are you! It’s very sad to lose people in their prime to tragedy but I take my cue from the Jewish king David. He had fasted and pleaded for God to spare his son with Bathsheba but surprised everyone when he cleaned himself up and ate after the child died. He wasn’t desperate!! He wasn’t fighting an eventuality that was completely out of his control.

The year is about to end in just a few days and while we may not be having the Christmas of our fantasies, we can make it the best yet. You see desperation comes in many forms. Some people cling to life, some to power, some to popularity and most to money. Accepting the reality of what you have and who you are with some grace could make this the best Christmas ever. Kicking unhealthy comparisons out the door is a great place to start. Stop dancing to other people’s tunes.

I am still much focussed on my theme for the month of gratitude and I am focussed on life and all the gifts attached. I am thankful for the life I have, for the world as is and even if it ends individually or collectively I would remain thankful. I would not hide in a bunker trying to outlive the world or live like death was a master. I end with a confession of faith I learnt as a young Christian and it is an emphatic answer to all prophesies, doomsday or otherwise.

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit .. the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; AND THE LIFE EVERLASTING.    Amen.


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