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Places to go, things to do

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Many years ago, during a job interview at an insurance agency in Worland Wyoming, I was asked, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

The inquiry was met with a blank stare.

I've never been one to set goals, so I had no satisfactory answer to offer that day and left the interview in the same condition I had arrived in -- unemployed. Maybe the question is of particular importance to those in the insurance game.

Admittedly, I was considerably younger and considerably more naive back then, but I'm not the least bit certain I could answer the same question any better today than I did (or didn't) back then.

Tomorrow seems to be a bit beyond me.

If I've learned anything throughout the days of my life, it's that none of us can know what any day holds. No one was more surprised than Danny and me when Ben arrived four weeks early in 1975. We also were stunned years later when he gifted himself with a vacation trip to our house in 2007 in time for his 32nd birthday. Both happy surprises.

Back in January of 1973, I knew Danny would be coming home from basic training -- someday. The Navy, for all of its wisdom and efficiency, couldn't seem to provide the precise departure information. Since I didn't know the day nor the hour, it was the Navy's fault that I had curlers in my hair when Danny finally showed up. Once I tugged the curlers out and finger-combed the still damp mop on my head, it turned out to be a happy surprise indeed.

Anyone with even a few years of living behind them knows that not all surprises are happy ones.

The nearly 3,000 who left us on September 11, 2001, had no plans to depart that day. Their agendas contained the common, ordinary day-to-day chores: Go to work, go to the dentist, have lunch with the girls, stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a gallon of milk.

My mom knew her time here was limited, but even in her extremity, she didn't know the precise day and hour of her departure.

Was she any more prepared than those who left so suddenly when the towers fell?

We buy calendars with 365 blank pages waiting to be filled. Our checkbook registers have room for hundreds of checks, waiting to be written. We program the DVR to catch programs we know we'll otherwise miss next week. Even the lottery has gotten into tomorrows to come, offering tickets that span weeks worth of drawings, saving the hopeful the inconvenience of dropping by the convenience store the night before the next draw.

It's the cultural norm. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Time to go back to school, tomorrow. Time to call Mom just to say "I love you," tomorrow. Time to mend long-broken fences, tomorrow. Time to deal with eternity, tomorrow... tomorrow... tomorrow.

Scholars say that there were 700-plus years between Isaiah's prophecies concerning the coming of the Son of God and his birth in Bethlehem. I may disremember the precise number, but during his short time in the flesh, Jesus fulfilled more than 600 prophecies that had been spoken about him hundreds of years before he came to earth.

I dare say, through the course of those generations that waited for the promise, through the long years of study by the Jewish leaders, through the long, silent years when Israel had no word from God -- many theories about the coming Messiah and those many seemingly unconnected prophecies, flourished.

History teaches us that some believed themselves to be the Messiah, including Simon of Peraea, a former slave of Herod the Great who rebelled and was killed by the Romans.

None, before the coming of Jesus, or the myriad that have come to Israel after him, have fulfilled the resurrection prophecy as Jesus did when the stone rolled from the grave on the morning of the third day.

No matter the number of theories that arose during those long generations, they would likely pale in comparison to the number of theories that have sprung up in these latter days about the end of days and the imminent return of the Lord.

Another deadline looms Saturday and everyone is abuzz with it. I first became aware of this prophecy last year and wrote about it June 23, 2010. Harold Camping, through Outreach U.S.A., has been warning any who would listen that the rapture will occur Saturday, May 21 and the world will end Oct. 21, 2011, after months of "living hell on earth" for those "left behind."

Scripture teaches us how to discern between true prophets and false prophets all the way back in Deuteronomy 18:22 "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."

Camping's first end-times prophecy was set for 1994. You can draw your own conclusions as to whether or not he has rightly named the date, this time, always mindful that although we are given signs to watch out for, "no one knows the day or the hour."

As to tomorrow? I make no prediction. If it is a typical Wednesday, without surprises, I will be at my desk here at the McCook Daily Gazette at the appointed hour. I'll trek out to KNGN to record more "Dawn of New Day" sessions in the afternoon, mow the lawn if it isn't raining or too windy, and at day's end will offer a prayer patterned largely after the one I learned as a child, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."

My life and my times are in his hand. Today. And that is more than enough, sufficient even unto the day and hour of my departure, whenever it comes.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Dawn of a New Day now airs Monday through Friday at KNGN 1360 AM or online at kngn.org, immediately following SRN news at 1 p.m.

I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for awhile and discover Him; together.


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Let me see if I have this right: According to most evangelicals, a "Rapture" and a "Tribulation" and a "Second Coming" WILL eventually occur, it's just that no one knows exactly when. In fact, a significant number of people actually believe that a "Rapture" will happen during their own lifetimes, and they will be beamed up to Heaven, leaving little more than their clothes and their dentures behind.

So far it sounds pretty nutty. So why is it that Harold Camping is somehow NUTTIER because he's determined a DATE for all this mumbo-jumbo?

I find it extremely disturbing that so many people, even many elected officials, think in such Apocalyptic terms. How it must cloud their long-term view of the future! Imagine: All of our science and technology and exploration and investment in the Advancing Modern World is all for naught, because it will simply be swept away in some grand battle between the armies of Heaven and Hell! How utterly depressing and nihilistic!

Maybe it would be far better if people would just grow up, get over their fairytales and superstitions, and learn how to live in the REAL WORLD. Trust me, you can enjoy a perfectly happy, decent, and meaningful life without having to worry about "The Rapture."

-- Posted by PolishBear on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 11:52 AM

Everyone's religious to some sort of belief and everyone's trying to convert others to their side. PolishBear is a perfect example that nobody is immune to it.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 12:10 PM

and I believe even the non-believers will beseech the Lord in their final hour. And they will be forgiven and accepted into Heaven.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 12:50 PM

p.s. you write a good column Dawn and I especially like your tag line.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 12:51 PM


Living in the real world (as opposed to a world of angels, demons, prophecies, voodoo dolls, and Santa Claus) is a religion? That's a new one on ME!

-- Posted by PolishBear on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 2:17 PM


re·li·gion /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Show Spelled[ri-lij-uhn] --noun

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Sounds to me like whatever you believe in can fit within the definition of religion, even if that "real world" you live is, for example, the one that will end because of global warming and came to be billions of years ago when nothing exploded on its own, and then proteins came together on their own to form life, and that life went through random, drastic changes, yet somehow survived those potentially fatal changes to produce the living things we see today.

Of course, I'm not sure how that's a more realistic and less depressing viewpoint than what Dawn believes in.

-- Posted by bjo on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 3:58 PM

PolishBear, Peace. I love my God, my Country, my Family, Friends, and somehow, even most-all my enemy. Your snippet proves wondrous things about where we live, you have the 'Right' to believe as you believe, and say much as you say. I, too, utilize the same rights, and must say that I am so sorry you do feel as you do, as my Faith believes there is something far more wonderful beyond what I call 'Graduation,' than nothingness.

Ponder, please: There are folk that say dead is dead, nothing else, and they may be correct. I say that mortal death is only Graduation to an Eternally Wondrous existence, I cannot even imagine. To those who say nothing is there, I say, If you are right, then no one takes anything with them, and cease to exist. On my side, however, and if I be right, I have a Wondrous Eternity, because I believe beyond mortal self, to, in, and on, my Creator. Those who didn't/don't believe that, finding out, after Graduating, will also spend that same Eternity, but not in a Wondrous situation beyond imagination, but in a Torment situation, beyond imagination.

One belief must be right, the other wrong. My belief allows me far more than the non-belief, so I therefore, opt to stay in my faith, which, by the way, never kept me from participating in many of the sciences that provides you with the toys, and tools used today, so I guess technology, and Christianity, are not all that exclusive from the other, after all. Hmmm? Be blessed, and open your heart to Jesus. You can thank me later, as we will have an eternity in the same place for you to find me to thank me, but more than that, you will have all of Eternity, to Praise, and Thank Jesus, our Christ, and God. AMEN...windy, huh? (^8

-- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 6:18 PM

PS: Yeee-Haaa!!! and AMEN, Dawn. Excellent 'Nail Job.' (I got so windy I forgot to salute you).

-- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 6:20 PM

Next week the evangelicals will be out in force doing damage control. They'll insist that Harold Camping was always wrong, that he was a "false prophet" ... but they will ALSO insist that the "Rapture" and the "Tribulation" and the "Second Coming" WILL eventually occur, so we need to surrender to Jesus and make sure we're prepared.

Personally, I hope people will take time to reflect that we are living in the REAL WORLD, not a world of angels and demons, voodoo dolls and Santa Claus. There is no such thing as prophecy, except for the ambiguous, self-fulfilling kind. There is just the here and now, and our world is what WE make of it, not some imaginary beings up in the clouds somewhere.

This coming Sunday, after Harold Camping's apocalyptic dreams have failed to come true, take time to listen to John Lennon's "Imagine." Listen to the words and think about them. It's probably the best wisdom we have in this day and age.

-- Posted by PolishBear on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 11:37 AM

That's pretty broad brush that you're trying to paint all Christians with there PolishBear. Apparently you failed to dip your brush in paint. I see you did not, or cannot, refute any principles that Jesus, and Jesus through disciples and Paul, made as stated in the New Testament in the Holy Bible. Instead, you bring up the name Harold Camping, and try to equate him to be some kind of Christian leader, he is not.

Evangelicals, by definition, cannot believe the rapture is going to begin. For the Bible warns us of those making this claim, for only Jesus know the exact time.

I gave you the definition of how a Christian lives in the real world, and apparently it was more than some, and you PolishBear, could handle.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 6:25 PM

Well the day came and went. I have yet to see any evangelicals having to explain themselves as PolishBear hoped. Instead, we will go about our lives trying to make each day better for ourselves and those around us. It is called living in the real world.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, May 22, 2011, at 2:19 PM

a question for polishbear: I would be interested in hearing your explanation of why the vast majority of cultures in the world, present and past, believed in some higher deity.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 9:27 AM

I'm with CPB and doodle bug there: one person claiming to "know" does not speak for me. I hear no one making apologies yesterday or today either. That was one person attempting to stir up controversy just as PolishBear is trying to do on this blog by demonstrating his/her "open-minded" and egocentric thought processes. (those are my words, no one elses) Polish, you might make your argument that the Christian only has one source from which he/she makes all of his/her claims, but that one source has stood some fairly rigorous scrutiny. To say that there is no prophecy is a difficulty statement to make as the Christian's book demonstrates clearly that prophecy was made in the Old Testament and then actually carried out through the birth and life of Jesus. If you like the Beatles so much, listen to "Let It Be". I think some of the inspiration for that song came from the aforementioned book. Moreover, a co-writer of that song was none other than John Lennon.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 2:57 PM

Disregard the 'y' on "difficult".

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 3:37 PM

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