Wow! Where did the summer go? Looking Out My Window today the sun is shining, but it is cooler than it was just one week ago. It seems like we very quickly transitioned from hot and humid weather right into cooler fall weather. Some weather sources say by mid-October it will be noticeably cooler with possible snow! I know, just what everyone wants to hear. Soon leaves will start changing colour and then before you know it there will be snow on the ground.
On the Jewish calendar, the Sabbath Year – also known as the Shemita Year – ended on September 13th which means Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year – started on September 14th. What exactly does all of this mean? Many alarmists wrote about a stock market crash while others encouraged people to stock pile food expecting the end of the world to come. While it is the year 2015 on the Gregorian calendar, the Jewish calendar has this as the year 5776. Do the Hebrew letters corresponding with those numbers translate into some kind of forecast for what is in store in the days ahead?
I remember a number of years ago when the world was supposed to end in 1988. People made thousands of dollars writing books with titles such as 1,988 Reasons Why The World Will End in 1988. When we all woke up to the same world on January 1, 1989 one author was quick to release a book entitled 1,989 Reasons Why The World Didn’t End in 1988. Then in 1999 there was the big Y2K scare. Many people were sure technology would come to a screeching halt as computers would not know what to do with the year 2000! We survived that scare too. Just for kicks I did a Google search on the phrase “How many times has the end of the world been predicted?” According to Bible.ca the end of the world has been predicted 242 times! The earliest prediction of the world ending was between the year 66 to 70. The final end of world prediction comes in the year 10 to the 100th power in what scientists describe as the heat death of the universe. This theory says the universe will diminish to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and therefore will no longer be able to sustain motion or life.
I recently interviewed author Andy Braner about his new book No Fear In Love. He makes a bold statement declaring we live in a culture of fear. Of course you don’t have to look far to discover he is right. It seems everywhere we look there’s something trying to scare us. However, we need to discover how to break free from the mindset of fear and move into the reality of peace, joy and grace. Another author writes “God is trumpeting a love call to give heed to Him and His ways. To those who respond, He will give grace to receive new grace. He will empower us to boldly withstand and shift some of the ways of the world in the year ahead”.
Predicting the end of the world is nothing new. In Matthew 23 Jesus told those gathered around Him “about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”. End of the world predictions will come and go which in turn create a sense of fear among many people. But the bottom line is really this – to quote my favourite movie The Shawshank Redemption – “ I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying”. Which will you choose today?
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.