I blogged last week about our visit to the Houses of Parliament. What we didn't know while we wandered around the corridors of power was that the news of Lady Thatcher's death had just been announced.
We were on Whitehall when a friend texted me with the news, and almost immediately we saw the flags on the Scottish Office building being lowered. You can see the man, just below the Scottish flag, lowering it.
The flag on Admiralty Arch soon followed,
as did the flag at Wesminster itself.
All these events served only to cement the thought that had been in my mind for the whole trip to London:
And he died.
When we visited Hampton Court Palace, the home of King Henry VIII, I was constantly reminded of this:
... and he died.
The additions to that beautiful palace were made for William and Mary. What can be said of them? Yes - they died.
Our visit to the wonderful Churchill War Rooms (of which more later) reminded us again and again that the good and the bad, the old and the young, the great and the small all live and then .... they die.
All these amazing buildings, the wonderful monuments, the aptly named streets, and the stunning historical sites: they are wonderful to visit and I loved being right there where the history of this nation has been forged. But this is true of each person of whom I read; each person's home I visited; each person's footsteps in which I walked:
What is it if we gain the whole world, then, and lose our soul? But, being safe in Christ, surely these visits serve to remind us all that we have only one life, and so we ought to take every opportunity afforded us to make a difference in this life.
There's nothing quite as inspiring as visiting where the famous once were, and are no more.
And so, let us all seek Christ, and then seek to use our precious gift of life to live to His glory, and to make a real difference in this wonderful world.