New York City, New York, Times Square, 6:01 PM, May 21, 2011
Robert Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, New York spent his entire life’s savings of $140 thousand to buy advertising to notify the public to get ready for the forthcoming end of the world. When it did not come off as predicted at 6 PM on May 21, 2011 he was exceedingly disappointed.
"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said.”Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here. I’ve got to go back and do some serious praying. I believe God is testing my faith.”
Radio preacher Harold Camping, who promoted the prediction said after it failed, “it’s been a really tough weekend, but I’m looking for answers. Frankly, I’m just flabbergasted. I’m gonna have to get back to you later once I figure out what God wants.”
Camping’s spokesman Michael Garcia said he was praying when the time came and went, but he insisted it still might happen. "It's still May 21 and God's going to bring it.”
Later on, he admitted, “When you say something and it doesn't happen, your pride is what's hurt. But who needs pride? God said he resists the proud and gives grace to the humble."
“But obviously, what did not happen is God’s will, just as it would have been God’s will had it happened. We cannot judge God. This non-happening is just a test of our faith and we must continue to praise God to stay in his graces.”
God’s will and the testing of faith was also evident in Joplin, Missouri recently where tornados roared through and killed at least 122 people. Some people said they survived only through praying for God’s protection. When questioned about those who were praying and were killed anyway, many explained, “That was just God’s will, praise God.”
“No one knows the mind of God. No one knows why he sometimes let’s little innocent children be terrorized and killed. God has his reasons and we can not ever question those. The only thing we can do is to know that God is doing what he feels best for us, and no matter what happens we must always praise God.”
I asked some Christians about this. Most smiled indulgently at me, the secular humanist, obviously pitying me for not knowing God, and destined for eternal damnation because I haven’t ‘accepted’ God.
“You must accept God’s will.” someone said.
“But, I can’t hear God.” I said. “I’ve tried praying and talking to God, but it is like talking to a rock or a wall. I don’t hear anything back.”
“That’s because it’s God’s will and He’s not ready to talk to you yet. He’s just showing you who is boss. Praise God.”
“Ya but, how can I know God’s hearing me? And, how is it that he's showing me who's boss if I don't hear anything or get any sign?” I asked.
“Oh, He’s hearing you all right. You just have to have faith in that. It doesn't mean anything if you can't see any signs either because God requires you to trust in Him and have faith. He only gives signs to the very holy, like Abraham and Moses. God doesn't care if you want to hear Him or see some kind of sign. You just have to know he's there and he cares about you. God is the all powerful and knows everything that goes on. He hears and sees everything, even the sparrows that fall from the air as they say. Praise God.”
‘Kinda like Santa Claus’ I thought to myself, but said, “Ya but, how do we know that? How do you know that if God doesn’t say anything?”
“You have to have faith. I have faith so I know these things and trust God. You don’t actually need to hear anything back.” He gave me a sympathetic look. “You just have to put your trust and faith in God. God always knows what’s best for you.”
“So,” I asked. “You’d trust in God if he was dropping you off a cliff or something? You wouldn’t do anything to save yourself?”
“You bet. Oh, I’d try to grab something all right, but if I couldn’t, I’d just relax and place my fate in God’s hands. If it was my time to die I know it would just be God’s will. I’d be smiling ‘cause I’d know I was going home to Jesus, praise God.”
“But what if you were burning up inside a burning building and suffering horrible pain? Could you relax and put your faith in God then?” I asked.
“Sure. Oh, I might scream and holler in pain just like anybody else, but deep down I’d know God does what’s best for me. I might be screaming, but I’d be praising God too.”
‘Yeah, right.’ I thought to myself. Ruefully, I remembered exactly how I was ‘praising God’ the last time I hit my thumb with a hammer.