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Materialism In the End Times.

It’s May 21, 2011 and we’re still here. Again.

Either we’re all sinners or someone was wrong about predicting a day that only God knows.

I’m 99.99% positive it’s the latter. Again.

Oh wait, it’s supposed to be later this evening? In that case, we have a few hours to kill.

(Are you sure you want to waste your last moments reading this?)

Silly prophesies aside, I was fascinated by the public’s reactions.

See, many people didn’t care about the idea that millions might be gone.

No. They just wanted their stuff!

There was an End-of-the-World Sale on Craigslist, in which tens of thousands of unbelievers posted listings asking for the possessions of believers who expected to be Raptured. Curious about this, I did a search and found ads like this:

“The world is expected to end this month, give me your items for my end of the world giveaway. We are trying to get a lot together for people left behind. Excepting all items.”

And:

“Are you attending the rapture on May 21st, 2011? I expect to be left behind when it happens, so if you aren’t going to need your worldly possessions; be they money, cars, canned food, durable goods, etc; I would gladly take them off of your hands. Serious responses only, please. And remember, time is short! You can contact me by replying to this ad. I’m willing to travel for said goods.”

This was my favorite:

“Don’t be a doubter! You know the rapture is coming, and you know you’re saved and in good with the Lord. I’m an atheist, so on this coming rapture day I won’t be going with you. However, as a loving, forgiving Christian I’m sure that you’ll still feel bad for those of us left behind. Therefore, to assuage and comfort my grief at living life outside of the boundaries of biblical doctrine, I’m interested in any belongings you’ll have no use for when you’re taken up into the sky this coming Saturday.

Cars, tools, coins, antiques and other items completely useless to the Saved will still be useful in the short term for those of us who have rejected God — why not let us take solace in the pathetic possession of some earthly junk you won’t be needing. Indeed, NOT distributing your worldly things may very well show a lack of faith — a doubt in God’s power — which, of course, would be a serious mistake come this Saturday. God will obviously smile on you for helping sinners, no matter how forsaken they will be

Please reply to this posting to make arrangements. Know that your soon-to-be meaningless material items can temporarily help those who are going to Hell, and thank you for your final acts of Christian charity and goodwill. COMPLETELY SERIOUS: WILL TAKE YOUR WORLDLY STUFF. Can provide truck.”

It is amusing that at the idea of the world coming to an end, people are anxious to get rid of their stuff or, in most cases here, get other people’s stuff. It seems that the first thing people think of is all the stuff left behind. They want to make it theirs. Forget the fact that millions of people will disappear, let’s get their stuff!

A majority of these postings are just jokes, but there stems a little bit of truth in them. We live in an extremely consumerist society that is obsessed with stuff, obsessed with making money, and spending that many on more stuff! And for what? To make us happier? To make us appear wealthy and interesting? Or maybe to load us down with crap and strip us of our freedom?

The truth is that most of the stuff we have is junk. It is crap that we don’t need and has no value to us when we leave this world. So if this stuff doesn’t matter after we’re gone, why does it matter so much now?  I have an answer for you: it doesn’t.

Our society has everything backwards. We’ve forgotten the simple pleasures of life. We’ve forgotten how valuable relationships with other people are and that those connections last longer than any material item we could have. We’ve forgotten how rewarding our life experiences are. We are blinded by money and power.

People were also capitalizing on this false prophecy by making “I Survived the Rapture” t-shirts and selling pet-care services to believers who wanted their pets cared for after they’re gone. With all the focus that our societies has on possessions and money, maybe God should come soon.

I’m hoping this raises an increased awareness in people that our stuff does not matter.

We need to shed them so we can live on Earth easier and focus on what really matters.

How many of us really live our lives fully? Our last day could be any day.

So, how will you spend your last hours on Earth?

Note: If we do find ourselves at the end of the world and zombies are roaming the earth, you’ll find me hanging out in here.

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11 thoughts on “Materialism In the End Times.

  1.  Wow, people’s reactions to the end of the world are kind of scary.  Yesterday, I just chalked it up as a ‘looney group of people’. But you are right, there is a lot of truth to people’s actions when faced with the end of times.

    Laura’s Last Post: 2nd Only To The Nonesuch Cheesecake

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    1. I’m sure (I hope?) that if this were to really happen, people would take things more seriously, but probably not. Some people just really value stuff.

      (PS: The ‘edit’ in the comment was to remove weird font coding.)

  2. This is such an interesting post Laura. Well, it’s actually kind of sad. 

    Along the same lines as what you’re discussing here, I’ve seen siblings turn against each other after their parents pass on because they’re fighting over who gets the *stuff* their parents left behind. I guess you see a person’s true character when things like this happen (erroneous rapture, parents’ passing, etc.). It’s just so sad and horrible when you see people focusing on the only thing that DOESN’T matter (worldly possessions) in an already difficult situation. 

  3.  This was definitely the most interesting read surrounding the May 12 hoopla. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I didn’t know about the Craigslist posting. Had I know I would have been glad to send them a few wood pallets I have left laying around, a half-used tube of chapstick that is still perfectly good, and probably the IKEA lamp that no one seems to want (including us!) Oh, but they wanted the “good” stuff. I see. Hmmmmm…..

    Whatever the case, you are right. Stuff doesn’t matter. Just relationship. And boy am I glad I have you to count as a friend. (Oh, and if I somehow get left behind one day and zombies are chasing me desiring my flesh…can I come hide out in your concrete pad?)

    1. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that other people didn’t make much of a commentary regarding the materialism within the debate and jokes this past weekend, but I suppose many people were too busy living it up rather than writing and reading the news. I wonder if anyone DID take up these people on their offers….!

      The more and more I dive into simple living, the more anxious I am to shed my possessions and just live and breathe with other people. So glad you are in my circle, too! And if you can prove that you’re not a zombie, you are more than welcome to crash in the concrete house. 🙂

  4. It’s pretty funny really. I’m sure most of those postings (I heard about them on someone else’s blog too) were in complete jest… or even more likely it was an organized atheist movement to poke fun at the just passed rapture we all experienced.

    Really though, the most disturbing thing I heard about it (not substantiated, my source is Patrick who saw it online) was that the man who made the prophecy had his net worth increase by over a million dollars from donations. Like I said, my source is dubious and I haven’t bothered to fact check it. But if it’s true, how sad. More commercialism. More ways to make money. 

    I do know I was in rapture that day, spending it with my honey and a good friend, sitting outside whiling away the day.

    1. I heard something similar about how much money he got from the campaign. I’m not sure which is more disturbing – the fact that he raked in millions of dollars or the fact that people actually gave him the money! And really, if it’s the end of the world, why would he need all that money anyway?? Glad to hear you were enjoying your day! 🙂

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