When I was a child, I remember hearing dire warnings during church services about how the seasons would get mixed up in the End Times. These End Times were always discussed as if they were going to start within the next five minutes.
We all, children and adults alike, lived in utter fear of the coming apocalypse. Most of our beliefs about The End of the World as We Know It (or TEOTWAWKI) were based on the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. My fear created a fascination that caused me to read the book several times during various church services. Much like watching a scary movie, I was terrified but couldn’t tear my eyes away.
For many years I just took it for granted that Mother Nature would get confused in the end (sort of a global form of dementia), and we would lose our four clearly-defined seasons. What I failed to consider is that many parts of the planet don’t have spring, summer, fall and winter the way we do here.
I, like most people, used to read the Bible as if it were written directly to me without regard for historical or geographical context. You can imagine my surprise recently when I discovered this teaching about the seasons isn’t even in the Bible. Apparently it originated in the prophecies of Padre Pio, a Roman Catholic priest, when he included the following line: “You will know when that time is approaching because the seasons will change so the only way you will know the seasons is by the leaves on the trees.”
As it turns out, such beliefs actually contradict scripture. Genesis 8:22 states, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Matthew 24:32-33 explains, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that the end is near, right at the door.”
So, yeah. We might still have to worry about other End Times scenarios like a biblical Armageddon, nuclear holocaust, zombie apocalypse, or even a robot uprising, but we can (hopefully) depend on Mama Earth continuing her various cycles through it all. If she doesn’t, we are probably doomed anyway.