Okay, Folks, here's how it goes - I tell you I've read the Bible and start preaching "The Word". You pay attention to me because I've read the book and have come to some conclusions. I'm going to share those conclusions with you...and all you have to do is send me your money. Not 'some' money - ALL of it. Any denomination (wow - a double-entendre!) of bills will do. Just send it. Now, thanks to your listening to my preachings, I can call myself an evangelsit. When I get on TV, I'll be a televangelist. You can send more money at that point. Studios and air-time are expensive. Fork it over. If you're good....and send enough cash, I might even let you in on when the end of the world will take place. If you're good. If not, then you get hit with all the bad things - tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis - that you can conjure up in your minds.
Now, let's have a little reality-check. The end of the world MIGHT happen in our lifetime. It MIGHT happen in our kids' lifetime. Then again, it might not happen. Allow me to share one thing with you, though - none of us is getting out alive. There, I said it. I know it's not the most comforting thought, but it's the truth. I don't even need to be a prophet to predict that. That's just a little old-fashioned experience. Harold Camping has predicted the end of the world three times now. He's 0-2. It didn't end in 1994 because of (here's a shocker!) a mathematical error. Uh-huh. It didn't end this past weekend because he made a (ready for it?) mathematical error. Now he's predicting October 21, 2011 will be THE day. He's certain. Almost as certain as he was the past two times he predicted it. This guy is a former Civil Engineer, too. I think we can all admit, at least those of us that know an engineer, that they don't make mathemtaical errors. Not on this scale, anyway. His followers have spent their money on billboards and other media to get the word to all of us. Many drained their life-savings. All this for an empire that, in 2009, reported $18.3 million in donations and had assets in excess of $104 million, including $34 million in stocks or other publicly-traded securities. Gang, I have to tell you - "Gullible" is, in fact, in the dictionary. Ironically, if you look it up, there's a group photo of Camping's followers. No lie.
I cannot imagine how people continue to get roped into following these people. Scratch that. I have an idea. I think, as I try to examine it more closely, that people become 'followers' because they are, and have always been, just that - followers. I consider it to be sad, though. Sad in the fact that they have lost everything and given it to a man that continues to make 'errors' while amassing a fortune for himself. Sad, too, that they are so lost that they will cling to any words of hope...and even despair. These are, seemingly, desperate people with little hope. They would never admit that nor describe themselves that way, but their actions belie their words. Seriously, the message was that this was going to take place at 6:00 p.m. on 5/21/2011. It would begin and follow across the time zones, striking in each at that precise time. Seriously? We can't even get the New Year's Rockin' Eve clocks that coordinated. I forgot, though - this was God. Time Zone, Schmime Zone, right?
For all the followers, I have a message. It's Country Music 101 and a well-written song whose lyrics should inspire and guide. Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" has a message we all need to embrace, though many do not grasp the concept. I've tried to live life with a different credo, but one that shares the same message - Die with No Regrets. I even heard an add-on for that message last evening - "I'd rather die with regret for things I did than things I didn't do." Some have commented, after I've shared pictures or postings of my travels and experiences, that I get to do a lot and said, "What a life you lead!" The truth is, we ALL do...we just have to learn to live it. I try to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself if it allows me to experience something new and different. I know many of you do the same. Sadly, there are many people that do not. They are filled with excuses and reasons to NOT do things. That seems, to me at least, to be a life that could be lived far more fully. Yes, I'm a big proponent of hugging your kids, telling the people around you that you love them, even stopping to watch a sunset. That was one of the most important parts of the trips to Key West - sunset at Mallory Square. Look, the world IS going to end but none of us knows when and, even if we did, would it matter? Would you do things differently? If so, do them now. Why wait? If you knew the world would end tomorrow, what would you do? Truth is, you don't know it WON'T end tomorrow so do it now. What do you have to lose? Not a thing.....and your life, should we continue living, will be richer for having done it. You can, however, continue to send money...and lots of it.
Until next time..........