Doesn’t that seem strange to you? With all the hype for so long about the Mayan prophecy of the world ending on December 21, 2012, now this portentous year is actually here. In 2009 I wrote about the Maya mania. I’d said it was pretty ridiculous. In fact, the world according to the Mayans does not end. In part, I’d said,
“Their daily calendar was of 260 days but their “long count” or b’ak’tun calendar toted up long periods of time, from a mythological starting point equivalent to August 11, 3114 BC. “Misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is the basis for a New Age belief that a cataclysm will take place on December 21, 2012. December 20, 2012 is simply the last day of the 13th b’ak’tun. But that is not the end of the Long Count because the 14th through 20th b’ak’tuns are still to come.” Their long count calendar went through cycles, and cycles end. 12 previous cycles have ended without incident. One such cycle is slated to end on December 21, 2012, but the news is that a new cycle begins immediately. According to the Mayans, the world does not end.”
The more ridiculous thing is putting stock in any prophecy besides the ones Jesus gives us. THOSE are 100% accurate, guaranteed, all the time.
It’s weird, I remember watching a documentary about the Mayan prophecy of the world ending when I was in my late teens or early 20s. So this would be somewhere between 1978 and 1985. It wasn’t Leonard Nimoy’s documentary, I found that online and watched it. No, I distinctly remember the last scene of this program. The program had been expounding on the Baktun long count and the end of the world. At that time, the ‘prophecy’ was decades away, but the documentary made it sound ominous. The final scene was of a Mayan elder, dressed in headdress and loin cloth. He was standing with his back to a dense jungle foliage, looking at the camera, which was across a narrow but deep ravine. A hemp rope bridge separated the Elder from the camera, and the viewer. He said a few short words in his language, and then looked mournfully at the camera. He slowly turned, and parted the jungle leaves, and entered in. The camera remained focused on the spot he had been standing until the leaves ceased shaking. The narrator said something like, “The world will end. Will we listen…?”
I wasn’t saved then so I didn’t know about Jesus. But it was the first time I gave deep thought to the fact that this planet might indeed not go on as it has always been. I did not begin “saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4). I am a science fiction fan, having watched my share of movies and read many books by Gene Roddenberry, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and the like…and I’d seen or read my share of planets blowing up. But this was the first time I thought about my planet blowing up. Hmmm.
The Lord draws us to Him. (John 6:44). I believe He does this all our lives, until we make a decision one way or the other, or until our fleshly desires become so pervasive that He gives us over to them and hardens our heart. (Psalm 81:12, Acts 7:39-42, Romans 1:24). All along now I see, there were little forks in the road, at which I mulled, and each time I responded to His drawing. When I was ten, my Aunt told me about the rapture and the people coming out of the graves and lifted up with those who were living to meet Jesus in the air. That picture stayed with me, the people popping out of the graves. I responded as a kid, drawn to the more gory part, but also responded through my soul, and began wondering about life after death. In my twenties, this Mayan documentary made me wonder about the world ending. In my thirties I traveled the world and saw the complexity and fragility of the creation and began wondering about a Creator.
Mark 4:1-9 is the Parable of the Sower who sowed seed in different kinds of ground and the seed’s response to it. I think as long as we keep the door of our hearts open, He continues sowing. He sees who responds because He is the only one who can see the heart.
Will the world end as the Mayans say on December 21 2012? Only Jesus knows. He did say that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10). But the world will be remade and become a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21:1, Isaiah 65:17).
My prayer for you is that your heart is the good ground that the Sower sows the Gospel seeds upon. That you heed the warnings of the Christ and not the Maya, that the world WILL end one day, at His timing, but those of us in Christ will be forever with Him. It is not a fearful, mournful thing, but a hopeful one. The Greatest Hope of all! 2012 begins, and I wait. “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.” (Psalms 39:7)