Maybe this has already been discussed on another thread and if so, I apologize for bringing it up here. I was talking to a friend today who is fading and he mentioned that the schedule for the summer district conventions has been released by the WTS. It would appear that district conventions will now be two days in length and not three.
Some of us anticipated this development last year when no announcement about 2013 district conventions was made during the 2012 cycle. This friend could remember back to the time when conventions were eight days in length. When I attended my first district convention in 1975, the gathering was a five-day event. Now they have been shortened to two days.
My friend and I talked about the significance of this. His take on it was that most Witnesses would be oblivious to the real meaning behind this development: the religion is losing steam and may soon be in full-scale reverse as people leave and new blood is not infused. I agreed with him because I think many rank-and-file Witnesses are starting to suffer from burn-out and have lost interest. I think their state is well summed up by the passage at Ezekiel 37:11 which says, “‘Our bones have become dry and our hope has perished. We have been severed off to ourselves.’ ”
We are now nearly forty years removed from those heady days of the 1970s. I was a young Witness then and brimming over with hope. If Armageddon did not come in 1975, surely only a few short years would follow before it did arrive. I wasn’t the only one with youth and high hopes in those days. Now I am middle-aged, Paradise has not arrived, and more than likely I will die before it does. But at least I am no longer chasing rainbows and seeing mirages. Having left this cult behind, I have realized the truth of George Eliot’s observation, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” Living the life I should have and enjoying it have given me deep satisfaction and happiness even as I see the shadows lengthening.
But for those who remain Jehovah’s Witnesses, I wonder what must be going through their minds. District conventions were used to keep the hope of a paradise earth alive; the hope of never seeing sickness, old age and death; the belief that a Witness was part of the One True Faith that would survive into a new world. Now, some of them must begin to realize that those hopes and dreams won’t be realized because when you shorten the length of the most important gathering of the year for Witnesses, it must mean that the organization has little or nothing of worth or note to say and share. I’d welcome comment and thoughts by others.