“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” —Matthew 24:12,13
Sometimes I feel like the climatologist, Jack Hall, played by Dennis Quaid in the The Day After Tomorrow, (directed by Roland Emmerich: 2004), warning of a threat that is either too hard to believe or too inconvenient to consider.
Even if most people realize the threat of the forty-two month storm too late to avoid it altogether, there must at least be a chance for some to realize the severity of the threat in time to avoid the worst of it. If ever there shall be a great falling away (2 Thessalonians 2:3), a time when betrayal is all too common, and when the love of many shall wax cold, we shall see evidence of all this during the forty-two month storm.
As in the movie, one way to endure is to seek shelter and avoid exposure to the worst effects of the storm, to ‘wait it out’ behind closed doors. I am not saying we should all go into hiding, that we should all become members of an ‘underground’ church or synagogue. But there shall come a point that standing up to the brunt of the storm’s force will prove devastating.
Although it shall seem that the purpose of the storm is to drive people of faith from mainstream society, and it will succeed in that in the long run, we would do well to realize that the greatest loss does not belong to people of faith but to a doomed society, one that shall experience an ice-age of sorts, not a literal ice-age but a season wherein nothing good can survive in that society, and wherefore that society cannot long endure.
Being cut-off from that society is a blessing in disguise: for without a separation from it there would be no remnant of humanity left to endure and start anew in an era of great peace and prosperity. How well we endure or how well we help others endure may be determined by our willingness and ability to let go of that society and distance ourselves from it. To whatever degree we are called to touch lives and pull others from the path of danger, we can justify taking risks. In what degree we could be effected by the woes of society, exposing our consciences to the benumbing effects of those things that touch us, we would do well to withdraw.
When we walk in love, according to our various callings, we can walk through fire or wade through icy streams seemingly unaffected. However, when we walk in the world according to the passions of our human nature, the world effects us more than we it. And if we are not careful the rapid current of that mainstream society will one day become forceful enough to sweep our feet from under us, and at such a point where it may not again be an easy thing to find a standing place.
In respect to the movie which was the impetus for this post, I think it is a decent film in the class of sci-fi films. It puts a very interesting twist on the concepts of climate change and global warming. I like the fact that the main antagonist of the film is Mother Nature, and it is not so much a matter of man vs. man like in so many movies. Granted there are disagreements, but there is also cooperation and that is where the people persevere and overcome adversity. I do not think the screenwriters, the producer, or the director of the film implied any metaphor between the increasing coldness of society and the possibility of a new ice-age, but that does not mean I cannot take a little liberty with that idea.
In respect to the PATCH concept, there is a scene in the movie that will help me make a point, (as I try yet again to find a satisfactory explanation for what PATCH is and what it is not). For the sake of survival, a small group of people stuck in an old library are forced to burn books as a way to stay warm and stay alive. As they begin to collect their ‘fuel,’ a pair of them get into an argument over a book written by Friedrich Nietzsche. It is at that point that someone else says, “Hey guys, there is a whole section on tax-law here that we can burn!”
The concept of PATCH is not to say what is not worthy and it is not to make a hypothetical burn pile of what books, CDs and DVDs we think are bad. The Meek Generation can decide for themselves what to preserve and what to let go as they carve a new path through the rubble of civilization. On this side of the transition we do not gain anything really by focusing on the negative, by pointing out those things that should not go into the hypothetical time capsule. Only with a constructive point of view, looking at things that would not hurt to go in there, can we begin to improve our lives today as we make a path towards the future.
In sum, while the burning of some books may be justified in such a situation as the survivors faced in The Day After Tomorrow, not even a hypothetical burning pile belongs in the work of the PATCH, (except maybe tax code books).