I wrote last weekend about the Clock of the Long Now and I referenced the Mayan Long Count calendar which “ends” on the winter solstice this year on December 21, 2012. This is the much-hyped “end of the world” or the “beginning of the new age” date that has shown up in lots of books and several movies and TV programs.

I like the ones that take it all with a sense of humor – like Apocalypse Not: Everything You Know About 2012, Nostradamus and the Rapture Is Wrong or Pocket Guide to 2012: Your Once-in-a-Lifetime Guide to Not Completely Freaking Out.

Whenever I write about it (and I have written about 2012 here quite a few times over the past few years), I always get comments, spam and even a few emails from people who are quite serious in whatever their belief is about the date, or the end of the world.

One such person (who was concerned enough to track down an email for me) sent me to a webpage that asks, “Does the Mayan calendar prove that the world will end this year? Will there be a third world war as Nostradamus predicted?”

I’ve never been a big fan of the prophecies of Nostradamus. I realize that trying to figure out what Nostradamus may have said about 2012 is a little cottage industry lately. Even though my background is in literature, where we get pretty crazy in interpreting writings (like poetry), some of the interpretations of Nostradamus seem to really stretch any credibility.

So where was my concerned reader sending me? Not surprisingly, it was towards religion.

One thing I can agree with in the Bible is when it say this about the end times: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven” (Mark 13:32).

But that webpage goes on to tell me that “there’s one thing we do know – that whether the world ends tomorrow or a million years from now, your body will die someday. Your soul, on the other hand, will live forever. Will you spend eternity with God, or in a constant state of suffering and anguish?”  The link on the page then sends me to “Peace With God.” (PeaceWithGod.net is operated by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in partnership with Jesus.net)

Personally, I am not expecting the end of the world this December. I’m hoping for a new age to begin, but I don’t expect much change in 2013. I’m not in need of making my peace with God. I think I already have done that. And, although I’m not a follower of Billy Graham’s mission, if you just leave out the religious portion of their mission, I’m all for it. “Facilitate the spiritual journey of people seeking the abundant life. Encourage its audience to experience the power of community and fellowship [within the body of Christ]. Stimulate the creative potential of its partners around the world.”

Everyone has to plan in their own way. Just be sure to have some plan.