Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tribulation

Back in the day, I was taught we were living in the End Times. You know, the last days, the days of earthquakes and disasters. The days heralding Armageddon, the Second Coming, and the Kingdom of God on earth.

You might have noticed, maybe, that End Times are big business these days. A whole book series with its own Amazon storefront. And it's only the latest in a series of books (see, this one, in its 25th printing, for example) warning folks that, if they aren't careful, they'll be stuck here on earth with the Antichrist.

Anyway, I'd like to chalk up my own former anxiety about the End Times, at least in part, to growing up in a rough-edged kind of place. Plagues of locusts? Seems not too-far-fetched when you live in central Texas. I remember plagues of crickets descending on the Baylor campus each fall of my undergraduate days. Crickets on every visible surface outside. And the awful unavoidable crunchiness of walking.

And then there's this, ominously labeled "Darkness in the Afternoon" by the Fort-Worth Star Telegram. According to my parents, the wind picked up yesterday afternoon, and darkness descended. A pillar of dust blew in from west Texas. DFW airport shut down, for all practical purposes. It was, according to the Star-Telegram, the longest pause in air travel since 9/11.

So, yes, it isn't hard to believe the world will end soon when darkness descends of a sudden. And this after a truly bizarre winter of not infrequent snow and ice. I wasn't there, but just hearing tell made me a little uneasy.

Great winds. Dust, dust.

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