Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Galaxies, Mayans . . . and the Future

Last week I read NASA scientists have predicted our Milky Way galaxy will collide with the “neighboring” Andromeda galaxy in four billion years. Since a collision of galaxies isn’t something that happens every day, I immediately checked my calendar. “Good,” I thought, “I don’t have anything scheduled that day!”

Then I remembered some “experts” have declared the Mayan calendar predicts cataclysmic or transformative events will occur this year on Dec. 21. In which case, at least from our perspective, the projected meeting of the galaxies would be a moot point.

Actually, I wasn’t planning on holding my breath until the galaxies merged anyway. First of all, that’s a really long time to hold your breath. And second, I suspect I’ll be busy doing something else by that time. It would be fun, though, to hear the news commentaries. “And now, for an on-the-scene report from Astra Nebula, standing atop the asteroid Whizboom….”

The Mayan prediction seems more compelling. If it’s accurate, there’s no need to start thinking now about Christmas presents. We’d be able to cross that off our to-do list. But for church music directors, they’d probably still want to go ahead with plans for Christmas cantatas and choir extravaganzas. They’re usually held a week or two ahead of Christmas, anyway. Nothing like a cantata going out with a bang, I always say.

Then I came to my senses, at least a little bit. I remembered what Jesus said about end-of-days prognostications: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). If even Jesus couldn’t tell His followers when, who are we to speculate?

He also warned about dwelling too much on the future. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). There’s nothing wrong with planning, but there’s something wrong with becoming so preoccupied with the future that we fail to pay sufficient attention to the present.

So while you’re wondering if you should make plans for Dec. 22 – or four billion years from now – don’t forget the important things you should get done today!

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