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Striking a deal to put off 'final destruction'

If the Mayan Calendar and Nostradamus -- who has apparently never been wrong -- are correct, then some form of apocalyptic disaster will strike the earth on Dec. 21, 2012, sending all of its inhabitants to their eternal homes.

Knowing that this could be one of my last Thanksgivings gives me a new appreciation for the holiday, and has caused me to reflect upon all the things on this earth that I'm thankful for.

Granted, sometimes I wake up, glance at the paper, listen to the news, and think to myself: "We could use a good Apocalypse about now." Wars in the Middle East, national deficits I can't wrap my mind around, Ponzi schemes led by Minnesotans (who are supposed to set a moral example to the rest of mankind) -- it's never anything I haven't heard before, yet the news never fails to depress me.

And besides, I would love the bragging rights involved with being on earth during the apocalypse, to be able to say to all my friends in Heaven, "I was there when it all went up in flames, man!"

But frankly, there are a lot of things about this world I enjoy and many more I would like to experience, but probably won't be able to fit in before December 2012. I mean, that's only two years away ... halfway through my freshman year of college. I'll hardly have a toga party under my belt!

And as hard as humanity has tried to destroy this world, it hasn't succeeded completely. Not yet, anyway.

The news networks will never admit this, but there's still a lot about our earth that's good and pure, a lot to be thankful for. A slow drive through the Tamarac Refuge on a sunny autumn day never fails to restore my faith in this bungled-up, faded yet fundamentally good earth we all share.

The combination of sunshine slanting through the colored trees, dirt roads, and occasional wildlife all make for a very refreshing time. A Grateful Dead extended jam playing through my car stereo can often elevate the experience to euphoria.

Gracious God, thank you for the beautiful earth you have given us. I know humankind has lowered this planet to a state far inferior to your original vision, but I don't think you should give up on it just yet. I guess I'm asking if you would mind postponing the final destruction for a while, at least until I finish my earthly life.

I tell you what: I'll find 10 good, righteous people on this earth, and you don't destroy it in 2012. Is that a deal?

Nathan Kitzmann is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.