Summer thoughts

I finally gave myself two weeks off from posting on this blog. In the past I have made sure to have something to post even if I was going to be away from home.

Unusually hot weather (not as extreme as in much of England this year) made me think twice about switching on my computer. There were days when I didn’t leave the house either.

I am currently reading a very interesting nonfiction book, which I have renewed from the library a few times already. I hope to finish it and review it before I need to show the librarian that I still have it.

The hobby I began earlier this year of researching my family history is time-consuming, but interesting. Making discoveries about people is sometimes exciting. Other times there is frustration when there do not appear to be any relevant records.

In my quiet times this year I have read some of the minor prophets – Amos and Joel, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and I am currently reading Chronicles and John’s gospel. When I reached the point in 2 Chronicles when Rehoboam, son of Solomon, was king of Judah. One verse jumped out at me.

The news is full of reports of people doing evil. People doing good things rarely reach the headlines. Rehoboam did evil because his heart was not set on seeking the Lord. 2 Chronicles 12:14

How many people nowadays have set their hearts on seeking the Lord? Have you? Have I?

The state of the world is depressing. We hear of wars, people fleeing countries where they feel unsafe, weapon tests, pollution, global warming, unprovoked physical attacks on people in public places, unjust governments, people only caring about themselves and their nearest and dearest.

In the Bible we read that there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Over and over again in the Bible the story is told of how people sought God and worshipped Him; then they forgot about Him. He often brought them back into a state of grace by bringing various hardships on them – plagues, wars or famine, for example.

We are living through difficult times. We have had plagues in the form of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. There are wars. Global warming is bringing the threat of famine to many people.

In the Bible God relieved people’s suffering when they began to seek Him again.

Nowadays people ask, ‘How can a loving God allow awful things to happen?’

Another side of God’s character is that he is holy and just. I am not going to attempt to make a theological explanation. We have the example of God’s dealings with people in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

We also have the promises made there. Even if we give up on God, he doesn’t give up on us.

There are other pieces of advice, which do not come from the Bible. One I have been thinking about recently is, ‘Consider what sort of world it would be if everyone did what you do.’

This needs questioning. What you do…
…is how you behave, what you achieve and more.

There are some things which everyone might do, such as looking after themselves and others in their household, being polite and courteous, keeping their homes and gardens in a reasonable state, considering carefully what to buy, how to dispose of rubbish, how to use the world’s resources without negatively impacting others (including other species). There are also beneficial things that we may do, which others will not. They have different skills and interests.

My family history research began because I inherited historical papers and old photographs. I have been able to share some information with a local history society. This is not something that everyone would have the opportunity or time to do.

‘Do what you can, but don’t be too hard on yourself over the things you can’t’, might be good advice.

Perhaps we should make a habit of asking for eyes to see opportunities to help others day by day.


4 thoughts on “Summer thoughts

  1. Thank you for your helpful reflections and advice here, Susan. I love family history and have been beavering away at my family tree in bouts for decades. Every so often we get to visit one of the places (e.g. Rydal) linked to a particular branch or ancestor. How wonderful that you have been given papers and photographs. And, yes, I know only too well that the gaps can be frustrating (especially if like me you have family surnames that are very common and make it hard to be sure that you have the right person etc.), but new material often comes to light with time.

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