Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 23, 2011

I Attach My Trust

Several years ago, while leading a short-term mission team to Asia, I heard an expression that made a deep impression on me. After our morning briefing, I dismissed our team members and their translators to begin their work in the local community. That’s when I heard one of the translators say to her assigned team member, “I have never done anything like this before, so I am attaching my trust to you today.” I immediately paused and thought about the many times I had hitched a trailer to the back of a pick-up truck. When you attach a trailer to a truck, the trailer must go wherever the driver of the truck desires to take it. “I am attaching my trust to you” is a great way to express what it means to trust another. Thirty-eight years ago I attached my trust to Christ. He has led me to places I never thought I would go and through seasons I never wanted to go through, but He has never disappointed me.

Harold Camping falsely predicts end of world.

This past week, our nation and the world witnessed what happens to people who attach their trust to the wrong person. Harold Camping, an 89 year-old self-taught radio preacher, predicted and announced, with absolute certainty, that the world would end on  May 21, 2011. Notwithstanding the fact that he had previously announced the world would end on September 6, 1994, Camping told the media, “I am utterly, absolutely convinced it’s going to happen.” And, through his radio broadcasts, he managed to convince untold numbers of people that the world would indeed end on May 21.

Robert Fitzgerald, a 60 year-old retired transportation worker from New York, attached his trust to Camping. And, it cost him dearly to do so. Fitzpatrick spent $140,000 of his retirement funds to purchase billboards advertising the end of the world. Moments after the world should have ended, he told ABC News, “I can’t tell you what I feel right now. Obviously, I haven’t understood it correctly because we’re still here.” A very costly mistake for Fitzpatrick who must now face his remaining years without the benefit of his retirement account.

Keith Bauer also attached his trust to Camping. Already suffering under a load of credit card debt and unpaid bills, Bauer took his family on a 3,000 mile road trip from the East coast all the way to California to experience the Rapture. Bauer said that he wanted to see parts of the country he’d never seen, like the Grand Canyon. What a deal! Take a pre-Rapture family vacation without worrying about the additional credit card debt. For a guy like Bauer, the Rapture was better than filing Chapter 11. Another costly mistake. Bauer is still here — and so is his debt!

Not all of the blame belongs to Harold Camping. There have been false prophets before him and there will be false prophets after him. Each of us have a responsibility to do due diligence on what we believe, the choices we make, and to whom we will attach our trust. Fitzpatrick and Bauer and others should have done the math on how many times people have falsely predicted the end of the world before attaching their trust to Camping’s mathematical formulas — formulas that he boasted were so complex they would probably crash Google’s computers. Among other things, the events of recent days should caution us to think deeply about where and to whom we attach our trust.


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