Friday focus – If only I had paid more attention


I am currently reading a series of books in which the lead character has a photographic memory.  After reading a file of documents, he can recall page after page of the written text with a high degree of accuracy.  If I was ever to be granted a super-power, I am sure that this particular skill would be one on my shortlist of choices.  It would certainly have saved me a lot of study time back in my school days and I feel sure that my exam results would have been much improved.

When I was a child, it was common practice on a Sunday afternoon for the family to go out into the countryside for long walks.  While we walked, my mother spent time showing me different plants, trees and flowers and telling me all about them.  In subsequent walks, I would be asked questions about the various plants etc. that we passed to test my knowledge and understanding of what she had previously told me.  Sadly, I was not a good student.  I showed little or no interest in the subject and my mother regularly despaired at my inability to remember even the most basic information.

Over the many years since then, my love of going walks in the country has continued, but I now wish that I had paid more attention and learnt more about nature. I now understand that the walks would be more meaningful if I had a better understanding of what I was seeing round about me.  I sometimes take a pocket reference book with me, but the walk is not the same if I have to keep stopping to consult the book.

These thoughts of nature came to mind as I was thinking about the harvest season and how prosperous we are, compared to many. We are fortunate to have a bountiful supply of produce to keep us fed and nourished as well as a landscape full of natural beauty for us to enjoy. For these things and so much more, we should give thanks.

Psalm 67 reminds us: 

“The land has produced its harvest;                                                                                         God, our God has blessed us.                                                                                 God has blessed us;                                                                                                            May all people everywhere honour him.”

Thanks be to God.

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