nothing new under the sun

I love the verse, “There is nothing new under the sun” from Ecclesiastes 1:9. Basically, it means that everything builds on everything else. The future is just a variation of the past.


Even the sunflower picture by Van Gogh, had been painted before and after him in various renderings. In fact, in case you didn’t know it, the Great Masters of the past learned by copying other artist’s works who’d gone before them. That was their “schooling”. Of course, they didn’t try to sell the copies, they simply used them to develop their own skills.

sunflowers/Van Gogh
sunflowers/Van Gogh

That’s how I do it, too. I paint by looking at other paintings. Then after a while I venture out and create one of my own. But what I’ve learned by copying enhances my skill set. I’ve learned by copying those who’ve painted in the past.

And every time I write a post, I’m acutely aware that in the course of the word’s existence, it’s all been said before. Maybe not exactly the same way or with the same words, but it has all been said in some way at some other time.

I read books about prayer all the time. Some books strike a responsive chord in me that others do not and yet, in essence, they pretty much all come to the same conclusion.

How often do we think about all those who’ve gone before us? The inventors, the artists, the philosophers, the preachers, the writers, the thinkers.  Do we think about the people who paved the way for all we enjoy today?  Every new product we enjoy, each new electronic “toy”, every new creative spark has at its core some nugget of influence from the past.

And for me, I believe that the core of it all is God.

nothing new
nothing new

I particularly love the “ancients” of faith. I am sometimes critical of the Bible apostles whose lack of faith was evident on so many occasions. I say to myself that had I been fortunate enough to meet Jesus in person, to be His disciple for three years, I would never have acted the way they did.

Who am I kidding? I probably would’ve acted worse.

In a world that gets “faster” all the time, in a world where everything is “dated”, it’s good to look at the past. Even our personal past. D0 we have dreams we’ve let slide? Were there things we wanted to do but that we’ve given up on?

It has been said by many that if a person doesn’t look at their history, they are bound to repeat it. That’s because we are very much creatures of habit.

 We are what we repeatedly do. 


I have no idea why I thought to write this today-maybe it’s my upcoming surgery. Who knows?

It still bears being said.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.