Posted tagged ‘End of the Ages’

YOLO

October 15, 2018

 

(A chatty post for those who like to read — and meander a little)

YOLO:  It took me a moment to remember what this meant.  It was spoken in response to a dangerous, seemingly impossible  “situation”  that the characters of a book had gotten themselves into.   It means:  “Oh, well;  forward!”

(The actual letters stand for You Only Live Once.)

________________________

News Rock 1

Recording the history of a past Age

I have been defiantly unproductive today.

Apparently my body thinks it’s at the end of its rope;  you know,  too many things going on;  too many “issues” all at once, as I wrote to a friend.    I’m pretty darn resilient, and I’m pretty (almost)  healthy,  but I guess my body has limits.  I’m not physically tired, not too much, though I should be.

What I am is mentally tired.  I guess that’s why I’m always walking around with my eyes stinging and burning, wanting to close down to repair themselves in a long,  deep sleep,  no matter how well I’ve slept the night before.  I just want – enough – sleep.

News rock 2

The whole Newspaper Rock,  Utah,  made by people long ago who Only Lived Once.

So I had an errand today, and then I decided to return a library book I’ve just finished:  a second errand on a day when I didn’t want even the first one.  But I would not take home any  more books from the library for a while because . . .  then I’d just have to return them some day, and it would probably be on another day when I didn’t want to return them.

I came out of the library with four new books.

I think one of them will aid my unproductivity.

The plot involves one of those minor, minor interests you have, so minor that you don’t even think about it until you come across it again and remember,  “Oh yes,  that was kind of interesting,”  and you spend a few moments on it again.

new mt cl in grand canyon

Exploring in the Grand Canyon

 

Well, here’s a whole little minor-interesting book that’s giving me an excuse to “take care of my body,”  wrapped in a warm quilt, next to a steaming hot pot of tea-and-honey and my go-to comfort food from childhood:  soda crackers and slices of Cracker Barrel cheese.     Hot tea,   crackers and cheese, and the promise of a few chocolate chips after a while.

(It’s relatively cold out there in this Far North October.    A sudden abrupt drop in temperature;  high temperatures in the mid-40s.     Quilt and hot tea weather.)

new party of six

Searching for signs of ancient cultures

Apart from the slightly intriguing theme of the book,  it has the added bonus of being written by probably a Millennial with a warped, hip sense of humor — the kind I like:    flippantly irreverent.   Or is that irreverently flippant?     And slightly hyperbolic.   Perfect for a light read.

FUN WITH WORDS

In addition to the flippant humor,  there is the creative use of familiar words and phrases.  Just one example for your enjoyment:     The small group of about a half dozen men and women,  none of whom are rock climbers,  are climbing up the almost sheer wall of the Grand Canyon.

There are many very desperate physical trials,   Indiana Jones style,   but they have to be faced and they do so  courageously.       If you die trying, you die.     YOLO.

One woman  climbing  above the main character-narrator,  slips and falls, sliding down into him.  He breaks her fall, just barely.  Not much to be said.    (She’s a tough,  hard-mouthed “modern”  independent woman.)    She wipes off the blood and climbs again.

new cave gr canyon

Later, when they’re resting at the cave opening where they intended to go,  she thanks him for saving her.     He tells her  it was more like “collateral salvation;  he was just busy hanging on tightly to save himself.

Collateral  Salvation.

Silly made-up phrase.  But, see?    It has a ring of deeper significance to it.   I’ll die soon, some day.   At least “dying”  is in my future.    And I desperately want to  please my Creator so that I can be with Him forever.     I want to know the right thing and to do the right thing so that I can be with my Creator forever.  And ever.  My soul depends on it.    I want to please my Savior and live with Him forever.   Simple.

Perhaps my quest, my journey, my choices will have the effect of “Collateral Salvation”  upon some of you.

new patagonians

Portion of an engraving recording the 16th century  meeting of European explorers with the Patagonian giants, leftovers of a previous Age

This little book I read today winds its narrative around the premature triggering of the next Age.     Fun to think about,  but  we were given this present world Age to live in.      To learn.  To find our way back to God and to choose Him.

It’s a matter of Life and Death.  YOLO.   You get only one try.

Risk all to attain it.

It’s a worthy fight.

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SAILORS TAKE WARNING (again)

April 5, 2017

 

(1),    (2) ,   (3)   points.

_____________________________

(1)   It happened again :

Sunrise 2 cr best

A red sky this morning.     (Sailors take warning.)     This time the colors were even deeper and richer than before.    I ran from window to window this morning trying to get into my camera that  shade of deep reddish-salmon-orange that I was seeing in the sky.

I couldn’t.        Fifteen pictures later, I was still frustrated.

Sunrise 3 cr new

And as the sun was rising,  I was losing the color.

Sunrise 1 cr

I had two choices:  either run out and grab my friend from out of his wife’s bed  because he knows a lot about photography and promised to teach me sometime;  or instantly learn how to use oil paints,  because only a pallet  of oranges, pinks, reds, and yellows could duplicate the color I was seeing.

Two choices which were no choices;    so I just  watched the Nature Show of salmon,  orange,   pink, and yellow,  then finally pale blue.   As I watched, I settled down and my mind began reprising the pathways it had taken during the night.

(“Sailors take warning . . .”)

(2)    The night before,  just before I had  called it a day, I’d been reading up  on Pope Gregory XVI,  perhaps a rather obscure pope today,  but he aroused some controversy in his day,  not too long ago,  in the 19th century, and gives us something to think about today.

greg xvi

He wrote some interesting and valuable documents, among them an encyclical putting forth in clear terms  the Church’s opposition  against slavery,  a  teaching which had long been proclaimed by the Church,   but needed reinforcement.

However,  even though he  produced some valuable and helpful documents,    he was personally and deeply suspicious of the consequences of  what we now would call the technological and industrial revolution.   He opposed the growing socialist movement which reduces people to  “economic units,”   under the management (control) of a central state government.    He saw this as the depersonalization of the individual, individuals becoming “the masses”  which the revolutionary socialist movement is  there to provide for.    (Move over,  God.)

Technology,  this pope believed,   would only hasten this development, as  families are torn  from their land ownership and  migrate into industrial cities where the artificial societies were  generally harmful to the dignity and well-being of human beings.

Curiously (to our ears)  he pointed out that . . .

DESK and gas lamp

. . .   gas lamps  (indoor artificial lighting)  would be ultimately harmful to the health of people,  interrupting their daily rhythms, allowing industrialists to extract longer hours   from the “workers.”   He also spoke out against  locomotives, for the same reason:  disruption of human society,  harmful to health;   dirty, polluting  machines  that create an artificial sense of human travel and again,  tear apart families.

 

radio

(3)       Next,     (Sailors take warning . . . )     I woke up to  the big radio station out of  Detroit in which  the host was discussing with guests the current threats from North Korea.     It was a good, thoughtful discussion,  but the host then said that the biggest threat from North Korea’s isn’t that   one of their nuclear bombs would  go off – boom –  in the middle of our country,  but rather that they would (or someone else would)  explode a big one in the atmosphere,  near our coastline,  causing a destructive EMP which would wipe out all our modern technology,  putting  us right back into the 19th century,  perhaps like the days of Pope Gregory XVI.

Although that sometimes seems like a quaint,  charming,  more clean and pure society before all our technology,   the hard truth is that  no one today knows how to live as they did in the 19th century.   (Our government has projected that 90% of our population would die within the first year.)

And then I opened my eyes to that  beautiful  salmon-red sky.

And so  there is a  (4).

Duck creating a wak 1

Our springtime Drake has put his lady-wife somewhere, haven’t seen her for a week; she’s probably in a protected nest nearby.   He likes to sail down our creek at a high rate of speed and he likes to swim across our pond, leaving a definite wake behind.

I’m sure he saw the beautiful sunrise this morning, and I’m just as sure he was oblivious to the beauty.    But though he misses out on the ability of humans to appreciate such beauty,  if – and when –  the EMP or something takes us back into a pre-industrial age,  he would miss out on the resulting chaos – and death.

Duck Wake 2

After such a horrific event,  he may feel some “disturbance,”  but he would be off, as usual,  to visit the nest or find some food or check for any enemies or take a drink of water . . .  In other words,  life for him would go on as normal,   just as it did for human societies after  the Carrington Event.

carington

1859,  right?    Just after Pope Gregory XVI.    A few technological difficulties,  but life went on and few knew what the sun had just done to us.

Today?   We are,  unlike my springtime Drake,  we are “sitting ducks.”   Dependent upon ever newer and more fragile technology that is dangled before us like a snake charmer using his wiles.

(You do know what the “Watchers”  brought down to humanity according to the Book of Enoch?)

   —  Of course I’m a Luddite (at heart) !

 

 

 

 

 

THE END.

November 20, 2016

I’m beginning to like my fuzzy moon pictures.   They have an interesting . . .  charm.

moon-lines

“Moon lines.”  Looks like a black and white Jupiter on edge.

I’ve got some “end of the year” resolutions to take care of soon.    I’ve got to accept my good friend’s offer to teach me something about photography.  Then I have to install my new editing software so I can do useful things with the photos.

I’ve got to get serious about  getting my summer and fall clothes packed away and my winter clothes out and ready —  and sewn!

sewing

I need a couple new vests.  Here’s fuzzy black velvety one almost made.  I had to create the yellow tissue paper pattern so the vest will come out with the right shape and length.   The sewing up will go fast but I need to bring  this  winter wardrobe issue  to an end.

I need to do the end-of-the-year holiday planning,  company,  decorating,  parties.

Lots of things are coming to an end now.   Autumn chores.   NASCAR.  Football season.

You can learn a lot about life from football –

end-at-the-end-zone

After all,  the whole game is a series of drives and the goal is getting to the  “end”  zone.     (The Bears made it this time!!)

And today we arrived at another end,  the end of the Liturgical Year:

lit-yr

We’ve come full circle, and have finished up the green patch at about 11:00, or 11:30.   11:59, actually.      Next Sunday we will be in the blue.

It’s an orderly way of keeping track of time,  which at the same time instructs us in keeping track of  our journey  throughout the year, with Our Savior,   as the major events of our Faith unfold,  one after the other.

It’s like a circular timeline.     And when we reach the end of the year,   the 11:59, so to speak,  it’s appropriate to think more on   those all-important “Four Last Things”  which we all will confront, at the “end”  of our time on earth.

I’m sure you’ve thought of them throughout the year,  perhaps without even realizing that these are “end time considerations” that are common to all.    The Four Last Things are:  Death.    Judgment.     Heaven.     Hell.

Obviously,  we’ll be intimately caught up in only three of those Four Last Things.

We all have common experiences with these things.

Death.    Perhaps you’ve known someone who has died this past year.  Or almost.    Or perhaps you had a close brush with death.    What might have, could have happened, if you didn’t get lucky.

Judgment.    Those twinges of guilt,  self-judgment,  an “oops, I shouldn’t have done that.”       All fundamentally pointing to the existential certainty that we will experience our last and final judgment.   Perhaps you think it will be a glorified self-judgment.   But,  nevertheless,  the judgment will result in . . .

Hell.     Perhaps.    You probably heard Hell referenced at least a few times during this past year without really thinking about it.  Someone nearby curses:  “Oh,  Hell!”    “Damn!”    It’s a curse word because . . .  well,  it’s a curse that is a reality.    It’s just that we don’t often “think about it.”   Why is the entire human race so “fallen”?    So damned?

Heaven.    A hoped-for glorious End,  but one which we’re entirely incapable of producing by ourselves.

Incapable:     Remember the miners in South America who were trapped by a massive cave-in?   All escape routes solidly blocked.   They had little water,  very little food,  no electricity, no light. 33 men trapped deep below ground.  And they were incapable of getting out of there.

They had no way of knowing that a multi-national effort was underway to attempt to reach them.   

But weeks went by.  Weeks with not enough provisions, not much oxygen.  

How do you think they passed that time, knowing they could not help themselves out of that deepest, darkest pit?

69 days later!   It took 69 days to reach them,  and miraculously  all the men were still alive.

Help had come from Above, by means of which the miners did not have,  by efforts that the miners were incapable of accomplishing.     Can you imagine how beautiful the sunlight must have seemed to them?      And they saw the Light and lived again!

The Fourth Last Thing:    Heaven.     Available for us,  by means of the Cross reaching down to us and reaching out wide to all mankind.

Advent,  next Sunday,  begins that process.

IN A FLASH!

March 7, 2013

 

lightning    “For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.”   (Matthew 23:27)

And when the Son of Man comes,  time will be no more.  Finis.  This Age of the Earth will be no more.    All your chances,  your do-overs,  your  postponements will be gone.  You can’t say “On second thought”  because there is no more time to think again  – and maybe do better next time, because there is no more “next time.”

I’ve been thinking about this verse from the Gospel of Matthew constantly this week.  It was supposed to be a normal week.   A normal hard-working week with deadlines and duties and hopefully a little progress made in the things I”m responsible for –  material, social, and spiritual things.

I got up one morning, ready to start all these responsibilities at my computer:

SAMSUNG

Yep.  Just like lightning –  your world can be greatly altered in a flash.

All those words on that Blue Screen can be summarized in one warning:   Don’t Touch Anything!

Not at my level of understanding, anyway.   I contacted my trusted computer doctor and gave it all over to him because he does have the appropriate level of understanding.   I lived in slow motion, then, waiting for the diagnosis.

Three days of partial diagnoses, wondering just how much of my life had come to an end.  All right, I’m good at learning lessons, and there really is only one lesson we all have to learn:    What is this life all about?

We’ve got time, now,  to figure it out, to work for it,  to grow, to learn;   but one day there will be no more time, and all of a sudden, we will present our answers to the Son of Man — who has just come to us.

In a flash. . . .