Like the rest of the country, I am working to keep moving forward. We have two choices right now. We can wallow in challenges, anger, hate, and turmoil; or we can move forward and work to treat others as we would like to be treated. Sometimes when I am at a loss for words, I read things that have had meaning for me over the years. Today I came across this piece from author Robert Fulghum. You may have read it long ago. If so, please bear with me. The piece is entitled ’All I ever really needed to know I learned in kindergarten’.
Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own messes. Don't take things that are not yours. Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Warm cookies and milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work some every day.
Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware off the wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even little seeds in the plastic cup - they all die. So, do we.
And remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere; the Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation; ecology and politics and sane living.
Think of what a better world it would be if we all...the entire world...had cookies and milk about 3:00 every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations always to put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
You see, God calls us to live together in unity. In fact, we read in Psalm 133:1, ”Behold how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.” And He asks us to do so in love for one another. We are messy people, every one of us. We say things and do things that hurt others. Sometimes it feels like the only time we open our mouths is to change feet. The evil one's goal is to destroy unity. He is VERY busy right now and is gaining in places. I have heard many say over the past few days this is not who we are. But with the division in this country, this is who at least some of us are. But it is NOT who God calls us to be. Paul reminds of this In Galatians 3:28, ”There is neither Jew or Gentile, neither slave nor free, not is there male and female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.” Some days it feels like we have forgotten this. And then there are these words from Colossians 3:13-14. ”Bear with one another and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
What Robert Fulghum said may be simple. It may sound childish to some. But we are all in this together. And life is much richer when we work together, setting aside differences, and looking for common ground. We will never all agree totally, and that is ok. But if we let our differences separate us, the divide in this country will only get deeper and wider. It may be who we are now, but it doesn't have to be. We cannot change what has already happened, but we do have the power together to change what happens next. We can do that with God's help and guidance.
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W