Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Maya: An Apocalypse Postponed! By SOC Okenwa
December 21st 2012 had come and gone but it made history for itself. Last Friday was said to be the end of the world as we know it! It was not the first time such hoax had been proclaimed but what made last weekend's 'special' was its proximity to Christmas. Those who somehow believed in the superstitious announcement became agitated and hopeless! One could notice palpable fear and search for the truth as the inevitable end dawned on us igniting introspection and the thoughts of good and evil, heaven and hell.
The frenzy with which the doomsday prediction was followed by some people around the world made one to believe that paganism and atheism are growing stronger despite the global evangelism and soul-winning crusades for Christ. But Christendom is making some progress and the light is extinguishing darkness. In a weird world where the natural order of things are constantly being challenged, with even the supremacy of the Supreme Being being questioned, such asinine doomed prophecy should be expected from time to time.
Last Friday at dusk as I met up with my good friends downtown for some drink in a bar the cataclysm deferred dominated our discussions. But we saw through its triviality dismissing same and moving to other global current events. Our sympathy however went to those folks suffering from ignorance and lack of knowledge as to believing hook, line and sinker such absurd declaration of end of time without any strong biblical or scientific backing.
The Dec. 21 prediction of Armageddon originated from one small town, Chichen Itza, in Mexico, where the Maya culture holds sway. Tens of thousands of mystics, traditionalists and spiritual wanderers descended on the ruins of Maya cities on Friday to celebrate a new cycle in the Maya calendar, something they had hoped would herald apocalyptically the 'golden age' for mankind. But fortunately it never came to pass because there was no celestial blessing to it! The end was neither nigh nor the beginning, as registered in Genesis, getting any nearer either. What we witnessed was an indigenous cultural hypnotism or prank seeking global attention.
In the build-up to the D-Day there were fears of mass suicides, meteorites, huge power cuts, natural disasters, epidemics or an asteroid hurtling toward planet-earth circulating on the Internet. International news media hyped up the day of doom with sensational reports. As I woke up last weekend France 24 international cable TV network made the armageddon-like propaganda one of its headlines! Of course the journalists were doing their jobs, so no hard feelings.
In China, reports had it that the police arrested over a thousand citizens for spreading rumours about Dec. 21. In Argentina the local authorities restricted access to a particular mountain popular with UFO-spotters after rumous started spreading fast about a mass suicide planned there! In Texas, the US, a video game mogul, Richard Garriot de Cayeux threw himself an elaborate party at midnight if only to commemorate the imminent end of time. In a small vilage in France, Bugarach, hundreds flocked there believing the media hype that it was only the place that could resist apocalypse whenever it came thundering down!
We have had more than a hundred doomsday predictions with none coming to pass as wildly predicted. But the most reckless could be attributed to the Jehovah's Witness group; this organisation that believes so much in prophesy had thus far predicted the failed end of the world eight good times! The very first was in 1914 and the last in 1975 provoking the exodus of more than five hundred thousand members from its fold. I must confess here nonetheless that I am an avid reader of their insightful publications like 'Awake' and 'Watchtower'.
The U.S. preacher William Miller had with fanfare predicted that Jesus Christ would descend to Earth in October 1844 to purge mankind of its sins. But it didn't happen. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult, believing the world was about to be "recycled" committed mass-suicide in San Diego in order to board an alien craft they were told was trailing behind a comet! In Waco, Texas, 1993, one David Koresh of the Davidians apocalyptic sect was the man responsible for the confused siege and arson of his religious compound killing his faithfuls who had believed that 'a new messiah' had arrived signifying the start of the last days.
And just last year a delusional American radio host Harold Camping predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011 but when that failed to materialise he pushed the date forward but nothing still happened then. In Nigeria, my beloved country, no one has ever dared predict the end of the world for obvious reasons. We are about the happiest and most cheerful people in the world despite the impoverished state of our silent majority. We laugh, make merry, live big amid rural and urban indigence and worship God or Allah -- refusing to be drawn into any revolutionary or cataclysmic tirade. But we have seen and heard about some 'mad' men impersonating Jesus Christ or His father Himself: Olumba Olumba Obu, Guru Maharaji etc.
Thinking about home in the event of the cataclysm prophecy collapsing spectacularly like many before it many frustrated, homeless, hopeless and jobless Nigerians must have wished the end had come if only to end the systematic fiscal heist going on in our country. They must have prayed to God to allow the apocalyptic event take hold so that the oppressors like Ibrahim Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo would be 'raptured' to the Hades to dwell with Lucifer in his abode of eternal damnation! Besides, the likes of Bishops David Oyedepo, Enoch Adeboye and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor would be forced to abandon their mundane-glorifying private jets and meet the Lord to give account of their ecumenical stewardship here on earth! And also the eccentric 'prophets' like TB Joshua would have regretted why they were not the ones that gave out the doomsday prophesy!
One does not believe in the end of the world until rapture omnipotently happens with divine approval! The reason for this season is Jesus Christ of Nazareth who embodies love, peace, sacrifice and salvation! The Good Book makes us to understand that it is one world without end until the resurrected Christ revisits the land of the living in His majestic glory, and so shall it be! Since the living God has not given us the spirit of fear but those of love, power and sound mind we can only hope for the best the future shall thrust upon our trajectory in life.
The inner contentment we crave for can only come from our acknowledgement of the truth and by abiding by the golden commandment to wit: love your neighbour as youself. With love the world can be healed of many evils manifesting themselves in wars, poverty, diseases and greed.
The new age optimism and evocations of wonder and awe as well as stories of extra-terrestrial contact with the earth had all combined to give the Maya myth another definition of global consciousness. Yet we are still here, still standing tall -- 'survivors' of yet another doomsday announcement that shook the world which never was. It was indeed an apocalypse, made in Maya, Mexico, postponed!
Joyeux Noél et bonne et heureuse annéé 2013 a tout et a tous! (Merry Xmas and happy and prosperous New Year 2013 to every living thing).
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters