Do you remember that creative essay by Robert Fulgrum titled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”? Although I never actually went to kindergarten, my parents taught me and my siblings the things on that list:
Don’t hit people.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone.
Clean up your mess.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Those are simple but essential principles that apply all lifelong. I’m especially glad I learned the importance of taking naps. I attribute that to my Dad’s good example.
This week I am in Dallas, staying with dear ol’ Dad and visiting family.
Ever since I left Texas in 1970 to go to college up north, I have lived far away.
I am not able to be around my brothers and sisters as much I would like, so I thank God for any snippet of time with them. Like last night: sitting around the table telling stories, interrupting and correcting each other, laughing a lot. And singing.
I especially love the singing.
This week Dad was playing a homemade recording of his favorite choruses and hymns that my two sisters and I made for his 80th birthday, over 13 years ago. He recently found the cd, and somehow made lots of copies, and was passing them out to everyone. He had it playing in the background during dinner.
One of the stories Dad loves to tell is about how we would sing in the car on the way to church, playing the game he made up, competing to see who could start the next song, songs like:
On Monday I am Happy . . .
Every Day With Jesus.
I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Down in My Heart.
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.
God is so Good.
Every Promise in the Book is Mine.
This World is Not my Home.
Such little songs, but mighty truths, foundational truths. Listen:
Jesus is with me every day.
He gives me joy.
God is in control (not me).
God is good.
His promises are personal.
Heaven is real.
And what about all the old hymns we used to sing? Just thinking of the titles is thrilling me:
Now I Belong to Jesus.
Just As I Am.
I Serve a Risen Savior.
Great is Thy Faithfulness.
Trust and Obey.
We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations.
I am so grateful for my dad. And for the truths found in the choruses and hymns that I learned as a girl. They are imprinted on my soul and have grounded me, guided me, comforted me, developed me.
Today I am realizing that all I really need to know – and to remember! – I learned in church songs.