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Even as I write this, it pains me to think back on how naive I was to believe a rumor about religion. I was so full of hope, of promise, and that night it all came crashing down—kind of like if that car that your father promises you never shows up. Well, not exactly like that, but anyway...

I think it was about November of 1999, and I was getting hyped about Jesus. I was actually going to church, reading the Bible regularly, when I discovered on the Usenet group list one or two groups about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Now, naturally, after hearing the schpiel once or twice about how wonderful God is and how we will all feel perfectly blissful and happy once God has come for us, I was eagerly anticipating the day when my Lord and Savior would come down from Heaven and take me back in his arms. After all, there were a lot of analyses going around of the numbers in Genesis and Revelation that said that the big guy was due right around then. (see beastwatch.com)

Then one night, I was IRCing about the said second coming on #jesus on EFNet, I believe, just talking about what it would be like if Jesus would have come back at that instant. Well, wouldn't you know it, a bright light came up over the horizon right outside my window. I saw a bright white light rising in the sky that immediately made me think of the Star of Bethlehem, and I remember hearing that at the Second Coming the whole world would know about it. I watched it for about a minute (!) and it still seemed like a bright, almost Godly light to me. My heart began to race and I ran downstairs and out on the porch.

I continued watching it when my little brother joined me on the porch. "What are you doing?" he asked me.

"Just look," I replied.

"That light up there? That's just a plane, stupid." And he couldn't have been more right. I watched the light slowly evolve into a light with a pair of flashing lights flanking it, and from what I knew Jesus wouldn't have needed flashing lights to get my attention. I almost cried right there.

This single event greatly lowered both my self-esteem and my faith in Jesus. I just wasn't sure what was true in the world, and I don't really think I am now. I just felt betrayed by those who claim to follow Christ and at the same time make it so that people like me are let down. But the next time I see a bright light in the sky, I'll go for Occam's Razor before I go to Usenet.

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