Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The End of the World

I'll give you the PS to this story first: Ben continued to talk about how the world was set to end next May. It was like he didn't even hear my nice, Biblical response that I write about here. I shouldn't be surprised - Ben tends to hear only what he wants to. We happened to have a meeting with our pastor (ongoing counseling sessions as we attempt to parent Ben during these especially difficult years) and I asked him about this. I kept thinking of the verse in Heb. 11 that tells us "faith comes by hearing." We tend to think of that only in terms of the Bible, but the truth is that is applies to almost anything we hear. The more we hear something repeated, the greater the chance is that we will believe it. I was beginning to get concerned that Ben truly did believe this heretical teaching he was listening to every night as he went to sleep. It all came to a head about a week after we met with our pastor. Ben brought up the subject to Paul and he began to argue with him when Paul told him exactly what I had - that nobody but God knows when Jesus is coming back. Paul decided that was IT and Family Radio was history in our house (which is unfortunate, because I really do like the hymns they play). Fortunately, we found that we could tune in AM 940, which is another local Christian radio station. They tend to feature more of the "wordly-looking, sullen, self-proclaimed Christians" that I refer to, but at least they aren't teaching falsehoods. So that's what Ben is listening to now as he sleeps - the transition was actually pretty painless, as compared to times when his cd wore out in the middle of the night (when he used to listen to a certain cd to sleep). He would be hysterical and there was no more sleep for any of us until I went out and got another copy of the exact cd.

I got a lot of nice comments on this piece for FaithWriters but it didn't place. I wish I would not have referred to Ben as "autistic" in the first line since that really wasn't the point of the piece. It makes it sound like I am drawing attention to his disability - for sympathy maybe. I wasn't. I was merely thinking ahead to where I need to explain his need for routine, but I should have not said that because it wasn't necessary at that point in the piece.

Our assigned topic was "huh?"

The End of the World
Just this week, my 13 year old, autistic, son asked me, “Mom, did you know the world is going to end on May 21st, 2011?” This was first thing in the morning and my brain doesn’t fully engage until a good two hours after I’m forced to get up. So, having to wrap my mind around this little tidbit at that early hour was a bit of a stretch! My first thought was, “huh?” And then it was, “Could I be so lucky? “ If the world is going to end in just 16 months, I can radically change the way I’m living! I can quit taking my vitamins because I’m not going to be around to reap the benefits of them down the road. I can throw our budget out the window and run up the credit cards! I can spend my days playing games with the kids instead of trying to balance all that I feel needs to be done every day (you know, little things like cooking, home schooling, and laundry!) We can go ahead and take that cruise now and not worry about saving up the money first. I can stop worrying about our boys’ future. I can eat as much chocolate as I can stuff into my cheeks! What freedom!

But alas…I knew immediately where my son had come up with this. Being autistic, Ben has certain “rituals” and things that must happen at certain times of the day. We have a radio station that I enjoy listening to because they play hymns rather than the latest release by some worldly-looking, sullen, self-proclaimed “Christian” artist. I like that. But, unfortunately, the preaching offered up on this station is really off-base. But in recent months Ben has begun listening to this station as he drifts off to sleep at night. Even though I believe the teaching on this station is faulty, I have allowed it for Ben because it is soothing to him. To take it away would cause a huge upset and would mean sleepless nights for all of us. Now, however, I am beginning to rethink that decision…

I was able to gently draw Ben’s attention to Matthew 24:36:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father, only.” I pointed out to him that the Bible says only God knows the day of Jesus’ return. As such, it’s pretty silly for someone here on earth to be saying that they know, too. I think he understood - I hope so!

As I thought about this later, I felt grateful that I had an immediate answer for Ben and was able to direct him to the Scripture that addressed what he brought up. There are going to be other times that we hear somebody asserting something and our spiritual “radar” needs to be such that we immediately say, “huh?” when something doesn’t line up with what we know the Bible to say. And how do we develop this sense? There’s only one answer: by knowing God’s Word. When we read and study our Bibles, we tuck it into our minds and hearts. Only then, can we discern truth from man’s fanciful assertions. And, then, it can even be done even when we’re not fully awake yet!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that verse. Andrew, 10 1/2, has really been into the movie 2012. Though he has not seen it, and will not be seeing it, he is all about how the world is going to end in 2012 according to that movie. I kept trying to tell him that no one but God knows when the end of the world will be. I do appreciate the verse as I have been trying (not as diligently as I should have) to find that verse to back up my words with God's word.