I live on the farm my grandparents owned. They sold it to my bachelor uncle who left it to me when he died over twenty years ago. In many ways, he was the primary male figure in my life. This land is special to me. I feel connected. Lately, I have been intrigued with the old ownership abstracts and plat maps. I recognize all sorts of neighborhood family names, but I don’t really know who they are. My daughter once remarked how astonishing it is to realize how little she knows of her great-grandparents. That’s a hard truth for us to swallow. Once we die, we are soon forgotten.
The land we own was originally homesteaded by three different immigrants. Most of the first in this area came from the same area in Norway. I guess that makes sense. Of these, we know a considerable amount of one family, not for the good things they have done, but the bad. Let’s put it this way, there was scandal involving molestation, insane asylums, prison, and even death. All this was uncovered because someone was working a family tree. This one particular family was an off-shoot with lots of “public” records.
It’s interesting to note that it’s the bad things that seems to survive, but even those are fading fast. The other two families likely would be interesting, too, but not much is left to tell. One man died at the age of forty leaving a wife and a bunch of kids. One of these died a year later. A year after that, another older boy and younger girl died on the same day! What happened is a mystery to me.
After these, there were three bachelors, two in the early to mid-1900s, and my uncle in the last part of the century. I can’t find anything on the first two. I imagine that since they never married or had children, there were no public records of them. They only way we know they were even alive is because their name showed up on my land abstract. Even Google can’t find a trace of them.
Truly, we are soon forgotten.
Going back 150 years, we find even less history to remember. The Norwegians weren’t the first to occupy this land. Many different Indian nations were here at one time or another before then. Besides what our history books tell us regarding the Indian Wars of 1862, we know virtually nothing of them. In time, I will try to find out more.
Stepping back, I have found little more than dates, when someone was born, married, had kids, and died. I know nothing of their stories. Did this guy like to laugh? How about her? Were they good parents? I know they worked hard, but did they ever take time to play? How about their faith in Jesus?
It’s evident that the pages of history books fade and we are soon forgotten, but there is a book that doesn’t and never will – the Lamb’s Book of Life. In man’s book, we are soon forgotten. In the Lamb’s, we can never be. Let me rephrase that. The names in the Lamb’s Book of Life will always be there. Always.
Which Book Are You In?
One day, I’ll know, personally, who owned the land I’m living on now. At least some of them, hopefully. Those who are saved will be in heaven with all the rest who are born again. There, we will be God’s people, and he will be our God. We’ll have lots of time to get to know everyone. It will be a joy forevermore!
Not so with those whose names aren’t in the Book of Life. The bible is clear, unless you are born again, you will not enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3). If you are reading this, I beg of you, examine yourself. Compare your behavior to God’s written standard. Trust me, all come short and will be guilty come judgment day. The only way out of the eternal lake of fire is through saving faith in Jesus Christ. This requires repentance from all your sin and complete submission to Jesus as Lord. It will cost you dearly. You likely will lose family and friends, maybe even your job. Perhaps even your life. Whatever the cost, it is nothing compared to what you will gain and escape from.
If you would like to learn more about the characters from my farm’s history, check out this post. You’ll learn a little about Jesus’ family tree, too!
Father, I pray you may give me an opportunity to share the gospel today. Amen.
Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers