This morning at breakfast I asked our almost 30 year old son what he thought the world would be like when he is my age. That is, what will the world be like 35 years from now? That would be the year 2056–the year I would be 100.
The best he could come up with was, “It will be illegal to drive your own car. Self driving cars will take over.” Then he asked how impossible it would have been 35 years ago to predict where we are now. I commented that it wouldn’t have been that difficult to spot some trends and extrapolate from them into a possible future scenario.
This raises the question of prophesying the future. Much is made by some folks of the prophet Nostradamus, for example, and Biblical literalists too often try to read the books of Daniel and Revelation as if they are riddles to figure out in order to foretell the future. Meanwhile Catholics of a certain temperament love to study the Marian apparitions in the same way–as if to be a good Christian you need to be some sort of crystal ball gazer. While supernatural glimpses into the future are certainly possible, this is NOT the primary purpose of the Biblical prophets or the Marian apparitions.