Love and the End of Days: Something to Think About. 
ASTEROIRDS TO SCALE
AN ASTEROID THAT BROUGHT TWO PEOPLE TOGETHER
LAST NIGHT, SHORTLY AFTER LEAVING the theater from watching the new release of Seeking a Friend For the End of the World, starring Stever Carell and Keira Knightley (Jun 2012), who separately did mediocre jobs, but combined together were supburb, in my opinion. (my only critique), If you don't want to know the ending, stop reading here, go see the movie, IT IS WORTH SEEING, I think, then come back ... please come back.
Without giving away too much of the details for those who have pushed on and want to see the movie anyway, or, as a result of this hub, the basic plot is that an asteroid, Matilda, if I remember correctly, is heading for earth. Matilda is large enough to wipe out most, if not all of humanity; there is no stopping it. The story is of our middle-aged, insurance-selling hero, Carell, trying to find the high school sweetheart he let slip through his fingers 18 years ago and his young, carefree, quirky, and most importantly to the plot, forgetful neighbor, Knightley, who is now trying to get back to her parents in England before Matilda strikes in three weeks. They are carring out their journey together partly because our forgetful young heroine forgot to give Corell a recent (3 month old) letter from his long-lost which was mistakenly put in her mailbox. Oh yes, she has a car and he doesn't any more.
From there it turns into a fairly standard but very nice and somewhat odd-ball, given the theme, love story. Young girl meets middle-aged man, fall in love although both fight it terribly, especially him because of the other sweetheart, and end up laying on a bed staring at each other proclaiming their love for one another moments before Miltada is about to do her thing, it is an overhead shot with the camera, off to the side a little bit so that you can see Knightley's eyes.
The end came with our new found lovers staring into each others eyes, giving each the strength to face what was to come that the other didn't feel. A few precursor booms filled the theater making both audience and actors jump and then recover with soothing words of clearly heartfelt love. After a final "I Love You", the world turned bright, then brighter still, then sun bright, and finally all was black. Everything was quiet, including our hearts, and then the credits began to roll.
What else, oh yeah, I didn't get up from my seat or say a word, nor did the theater audience for that matter, for many moments after the credits started rolling. I was having deep thoughts and a lot of problems holding back the tears; in fact, I am now again fighting them back as I type this. I knew I had an enormous amount to think about, I hope others in the audience did to.
IT'S AMAZING HOW IT GREW
TO SAY I WAS DEEPLY MOVED by this movie is a major understatement for it affected me at many different emotional and intellectual levels. As I went to bed that night, I was composing a poem to write about my feelings regarding what I saw. But, by the time I went to sleep, I was working on an introduction to this hub instead. As I laid in bed the next morning, after waking, still pondering this haunting movie, the introduction was getting a bit larger until the thought crossed my mind that humanity could have stopped this had they not been wasting so much time arguing about God in the first place (more later). After that, it became a full-fledged hub with a poem at the end.
WHILE THERE WAS NO REAL RELIGIOUS overtone to "Love and the End of Days", one can certainly read them into it easily enough. To me, Matilda is the modern version of the 40-days and 40-nights of rain where God destroyed most mammals on earth to cleanse it of all human sins and start afresh. Who knows, they may be right, that may have been what the playwrights had in mind, but, if so, they sure didn't highlight it in the story; they just kept this big rock in the background unwaveringly coming to smash into the earth and end our days. Beyond that, there were no other particularly overt religious message at all that I noticed.
Having said that, ironically enough, it was that thought which prompted me to expand my poem into a hub; here is why. I have recently been listening to a series of tapes called Conversations with God, by Patrick Donald Walsh; interesting, to say the least. In them, he attempts to convince the listener that God has no particular desire for anyone to do any particular thing beyond what they want to do themselves. In other words, God, contrarary to popular opinion in America, has no plan for you, or for me; instead, he suggests that only you or I can have that plan for it to have any meaning.
What's more, God doesn't really care whether you have a plan or not!. Why not. Because God gave you the ability to make your plans, so why should God interfere with something he gave you the ability to do? Did God do something wrong in giving you that ability? No, not really Walsh says, it was the "ability" that was God's gift, not the actions you take with that gift.
The next assertion Walsh makes is that because you have the ability to choose, then everything that happens to you in your life, good or bad, is your fault, not God's; and Walsh means everything! Personally, when I first heard this, I only accepted about 60% what he said. But, after seeing Seeking a Friend, my doubts may have come down to 10%. From this we can make the following observations.
There are some events in life that you have absolute control over, like whether to rob a bank, or to smoke, or drive fast, etc. things you know you should not do and could choose not to do on your own. Even with natural disasters, you may have some personal control over; this is where I modified my view after seeing the movie and doing some contemplation. Say, for example, the Missouri River flooded, as it occasionally does, and wiped out your house. You might be tempted to wonder what you did wrong for God to do this to you or let this happen to you. Well, God didn't have a thing to do with it; you knew the Missouri River flooded, yet you CHOSE to build your house in the flood plain didn't you? It wasn't God's fault for letting this natural disaster destroy your life, you are responsible, don't you see.
Further, you can continue to expand this idea until you reach a point where there IS nothing an individual person can do to prevent bad things from happening to them, yet they do. But this idea Walsh presents doesn't stop here for you start grouping people together and having them act as one, such that you have a larger set of things that might not happen, IF that is what THE GROUP chose, and that includes Matilda.
No, it wasn't God redirecting Matilda to hit Earth so humanity can start all over yet a third time, or, maybe not at all. Matilda the Asteroid, was going to follow the path it had been on for eons anyway, it was just in the cards, the random mathematics of it all buried deep in quantum mechanics and gravitational theory. Humanity, however, had known for a very long time that this was going to happen; after a time but still way in advance of the actual event, man even knew when it was going to happen. But, did they prepare for it? Apparently not, given the mediocre effort portrayed in the movie to prepare for the impact or divert Matilda; a lot could have been done to preserve humanity. What is unfortunate, whether the playwrights intended it or not, they represented today's reality to a 'tee".
Matilda isn't science fiction, the probability of a large asteroid slapping earth up the side of the head is almost 100%, sometime in the future. Are we going to prepare for it in time, you know we won't because, it costs too much money and people who have a vested interest in keeping the status quo will find reasons to disbelieve the possibility. And, that is a choice humanity will make, not God. Now replace the asteroid with global warming, a very real and much more near-term threat. We all know that the Earth will warm and there will be a new ice age, sooner or later. The question being debated by humanity today is whether to believe the majority of scientist and spend much treasure in trying to slow down something they say humans have chosen to speed up, or to ignore their warnings and save our treasure to use on other things.
Regardless of the outcome, even this greatest of natural disasters, maybe even more devastating that Matilda, won't be God's work, it will be our choice, our plan. Humanity can survive it, as a species, if it chooses to, but ONLY if it chooses to as a group and not as individuals. This is what I have learned from "Seeking Friends for the End of the World" and Patrick Donald Walsh and his books, Conversations with God..
Three Perspectives on the End Of Days
Matilda, the asteroid, ... also Doom
Inexorably approaching Earth
Delivering a final ending
To our years of glory and love and pain
Two lovers, you and me maybe
Now await the apocalypse
Lying on a bed, side-by-side
Staring deep into the others soul
That is what the audience sees
Sitting silently in their theater seats
Watching the final moments
Of a movie some thought was a comedy
Doom, Matilda; approaching quickly now
Faint rumbles heard off in the distance
A presence yet unseen
Yet, a presence everywhere felt
Our couple, scared, there on the screen
Scared of what's to come, but oh, so much in Love
You both feel the unseen Doom
Coming your way, even though you just met
Sitting in the theater seat
Wonder why such a terrible fate
has befallen these two,
we two star-crossed lovers
BOOM, BOOM, DOOM,
The asteroid, streaking through the sky
Sends a loud, clear message
I am Doom, I am near
The lovers cringe in fright
You grab for your mate; you hold tight
Each looks in the other's eyes and says, "Don't worry,
Don't worry at all --- for I Love You."
You jump in your seat at the sound
You think NO, this can't happen
Matilda will miss, it's a movie after all
But Doom didn't, it IS a movie, after all
A bright light begins to appear,
A still brighter light takes its place,
Then the sun seems to shine very close
Blinding you! ... Then it is Black!
I sit in my seat, wondering,
My throat tight, my eyes moist
My stomach upset, my soul very sad
The world is not right, in fact it is dead.
Tears steam down my eyes, as I write these words
For again I must contemplate for the millionth time
What humanity has done, is doing, will do
To itself yesterday, today, and tomorrow.