Signs of the Times? (or What I learned about Barbecue)

The price of pigs

Are these two a sign of the times?

What does a wedding rehearsal dinner, a construction project, and the United States Census Bureau have in common? Sit down for a minute and I’ll explain.

It really hit me last week when I was talking to a guy about pig farmers. The man that is catering my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner told my wife and I how the price of meat is going through the roof. Asia loves pork and the law of supply and demand is demanding that meat prices increase. According to our barbecue source, pig farmers can’t keep up.

The general contractor for the upcoming construction of our new church campus has been telling us for months that the price of steel continues to climb. He fears that it may cause us to be over budget before we even break ground.

On March 12, the U.S. Census Bureau declared that the world’s population surpassed 7 billion people. To put that in perspective, my dad is 81 years old. When he was born in 1930, the earth’s population was 2 billion. In his lifetime, 5 billion people have been added. He’s responsible for 16 of them (3 kids, 8 grandkids, and 5 great-grands).

I don’t have to tell you what is going on with oil prices. You know about it every time you pull your car up to the gas pumps.

In 1999, Dr. Richard Swenson wrote a fascinating little 139 page book titled Hurtling Toward Oblivion: A Logical Argument for the End of the Age. It is not a doomsday book. It is not a dissection of the book of Revelation. It is not like Left Behind. It is not a theological treatise on premillenial dispensationalism, postmillenialism, amillennialism, or even panmillenialism (it all “pans” out in the end). Swenson is a Christian and it was marketed by a major Christian publisher but it’s not that kind of book.

It’s basically a lot of math with charts and graphs.

Swenson shows how the population of the world is soaring and how it is not logical to think that our world can continue to sustain itself at the level we enjoy today. He explains how our water supply, food chain, and energy sources may one day reach a breaking point.

I was reminded of his book yesterday when we were talking about pig farmers.

Anyone who made a D in 5th grade math can see that Swenson is right. There has to be a breaking point somewhere. The world continues to grow exponentially. The population hit 3 billion in 1960, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, and 6 billion in 1999. Notice how short the increments are between billions. It took 30 years to go from 2 billion to 3 billion. It took only 12 years to go from 6 to 7 billion.

There’s a TV show called Doomsday Preppers. I haven’t seen it yet but I can tell you what it’s about. Extremists, radicals, and paranoid people who are preparing for the end of the world in a cave in some obscure part of the country. Americans love shows about crazy people. It’s why Toddlers & Tiaras and Hoarders are a hit. The Doomsday Preppers are just more nuts in a different can.

Or are they?

There is only so much land and water. There is only so much oil. There are only so many pigs.

I’m not trying to scare you or upset you. It’s a reality check of sorts, I guess. It’s a chance to ask yourself some important life questions. It’s a wake-up call. It’s a challenge to be in a state of readiness financially, physically, mentally, and most important – spiritually.

Maybe you’ve seen this coming for some time or maybe I’ve just scared the pork out of you and you’ve decided to no longer read my stuff, I don’t know. But my talk with the barbecue man got my wheels turning and I just wanted to share.

You’re welcome.

If you need help with your anxiety now, look at what Jesus taught here.

Now, what channel does Doomsday Preppers come on?

If you like this article or if you want to scare your friends, please share it with them. Thanks!

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