After considering my feelings towards the British weather in my last post, The Lost Summer, I decided to dig a little deeper into the human heart.
The most obvious answer to my plight is the fact that I needn’t allow myself to be depressed by the lack of summer, but adopt a grateful attitude towards what I have got. I am blessed with much and compared to more than half the world’s population, extremely prosperous.
King Solomon, the richest and wisest man who ever lived once said, “The best a person can do is eat, drink and enjoy his work. I saw that this comes from God. No-one can enjoy life without God. If a person pleases God, God will give him wisdom, knowledge and joy.” (Ecclesiates 5:18) (New Century Version – please review other versions aswell.)
Naturally the bible needs to be read in context and God is not saying that we should live self-indulgent lives while ignoring the needs of others. Nor was he encouraging us to pig out.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that God accepts is this: caring for orphans and widows who need help and keeping yourself free from the world’s influence. This is the kind of religion that God accepts as pure and good.” (New Century Version)
And Matthew 4:4 says, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (King James Version)
I think the point Solomon was trying to make is:
be satisfied with what you have to the point of rejoicing in it and be grateful for the blessings around you.
If you’re feeling down, count your blessings. If you are miserable, go and find someone to cheer up. And as my pastor says, “When you’re feeling low, go tell somebody about Jesus.”
So instead of moaning about the deluge of rain we have had to endure on this cloudy island, I am thanking God that:
A. We have water in such plenteous supply, that we happily let it run down the plughole while brushing our teeth.
B. We do the same while waiting for it to become hot.
C. We have baths and never consider washing our dishes in the same water
D. Nor do we have to trek for miles to get it. We open our taps and there it is, fresh, clean, abundant and not needing to to boiled before we can attempt to drink it.
E. Right now in the Greek island of Kos, there are thousands of stranded refugees who have been locked in an outdoor stadium in the blazing heat. I’m not going into the ins and outs of whether it’s their fault or not. I’m just thinking of the innocent children who have had to follow their parents. There are nappies that need to be changed and bodies that need to be washed. There is nowhere to go to the toilet and no sanitary protection for the women. There is no shelter from the blazing midday sun and no sun-cream to protect vulnerable skin. No water to drink, no food and no hope. They would have had a measure of hope when they boarded their tiny inflatable boats.
I am not trying to make anyone feel sorry for their plight. I am just pondering on the fact that these people have all the sun in the world but are not happy and definately not blessed. The fact that they should not be there crowding up a small island expecting the world to give them a living or at least handouts is not the issue in my mind. The issue is the fact that while I wallow in self-pity over our very bad summer, I am forcing myself to be aware that in other parts of the world, people are not celebrating the sun that I so desperately desire.
And kind of repeating myself to get it into my thick skull, there are those who have scorching rays beating down on them who haven’t a single drop to wash the sweat off. Heat makes us thirsty, but there are no ice-lollies, ice cubes, ice pops or running water for millions. Dogs, cats, foxes, equine creatures, and birds like to poo where they please and with no rain to wash it away, flies swarm and create thousands of maggots. I could continue but you get the picture.
So, instead of looking up to the sky with a frown, I will put on a warm cardigan and sit out in my back garden. When my daughter plays outside I only need to be concerned about her slipping on her wet skateboard, not stepping on a hidden mine bomb and losing her limbs.
I conclude that despite the poor weather, I still live in a great country. And unless God decides to send me elsewhere, I shall not hanker after being anywhere else, no matter how lovely the beaches are, no matter how long the summers. Praise God for soggy, windy England!
I am safe and I am very blessed.