2020 has undoubtedly been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in weeks of quarantine, economic shutdown and the fastest stock market crash and recovery in history. But as much as COVID-19 has dominated the news, so much more has happened. We’ve seen graphic videos of police brutality resulting in social unrest and bringing deeper issues of racial injustice to the forefront of the public spectrum not just in the United States, but worldwide. We have witnessed the first ever double hurricane threatening to hit the Gulf of Mexico, wildfires in both California and Australia, “Murder Hornets” from East Asia, a massive chemical explosion in Lebanon, the sudden and tragic death of Kobe Bryant, a child sex trafficking ring rumored to have deep ties in the powerful circles of the upper class and a looming U.S. election that many say will determine the fate of America for years to come.
The events of this year clearly were not what we had in mind back in December 2019. 2020 has definitely been more challenging, depressing, stressful and tumultuous than our most pessimistic peers could have imagined. Because of these events, people across the world have started to speculate this may be the beginning of the end, and their speculation may be justified.
Now before you slam your computer lid and call me a kook, hear me out. It is important to recognize many since the beginning of time have discussed this very event, and acknowledged no one knows with certainty when, or if, the world will end. Remember, we were told it was supposed to end at the dawn of the 21st century and Y2K with a great computer glitch. That didn’t happen. Then, again in 2012 when the Mayan Calendar was set to end December 21st, at 11:11. That also didn’t happen. Why is 2020 any different?
However, 2020 appears to be different because of the sheer volume, regularity, and magnitude of the events causing tremendous upheaval. Although the result of the coming U.S election could undoubtedly signal the end of the United States’ culture as a capitalist democracy and an embrace of socialism, the problems are much bigger than just one nation. This year we have seen disease, global natural disasters, violence, racism and social unrest. Eventually the uncertainty and chaos begs the question, “how much longer do we have?”
In times of uncertainty, in which 2020 fits that mold, it is only natural we look beyond ourselves for answers as to make sense of the world around us. And when we have tried to understand the present and the future, no book or ancient script has been more referenced, quoted or misquoted in times like these than the Bible. Of course, many other religions and belief systems have their own version of the end of the world, with some similarities. However, the Bible has a specific book dedicated to the end times which makes it fascinating and raises our curiosity. The Book of Revelation talks about end times in great detail. It references events or “signs” that draw haunting similarities to what’s going on in the world today, including wars and national conflicts, anti-Semitism and racism, earthquakes and other major natural disasters, and disease or pestilence. Does any of this sound familiar?
At the end of the day, no man can speak with any authority about the end of the world. At best, we can speculate. Whether you believe “the end is near” or “this too shall pass,” it is important that we reevaluate the things pulling our attention. Yes, this year has been hard but for now, but life goes on. Each day is a new opportunity to encourage that person who needs it, go out of your way to lend a helping hand and show love to those you value most. My advice is to live each day as if it’s your last because, frankly, it just might be.