Keith Wishum: All I really need to know
Published 12:36 pm Saturday, August 11, 2018
Robert Fulghum published a delightful book several years ago entitled, All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten. Fulghum believed that we learn the really important truths of life early on. His list of what one needs to know included such sage pre-school lessons as: Share everything; play fair, don’t hit people; clean up your own mess; and say you’re sorry when you hurt someone. In a similar vein, someone has compiled a list of “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned from Noah and the Ark.” These lessons include:
1. Don’t miss the boat.
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.
10. No matter the storm, with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.
What would you include in a list of things someone really needs to know? What really matters? Perhaps we don’t ponder that question often enough in the busy years of raising children and rushing from one activity to another. But, it would serve us well to find a place to pause and ask: Am I teaching my children what they most need to know? Do I know it myself?
All too soon, the kids will be gone. Life will have flown. And, what will matter won’t be how many games our team won, what we scored on the SAT, or how much money we made. The impact of none of those lasts beyond this lifetime. But some things will — the ones that matter.
The everlasting master teacher boiled everything down to the essentials for us. When asked what is most important, what is greatest, and what leads to eternal life, Jesus gave the same simple reply each time: 1) love God, and 2) love your neighbor. That’s it! All the rest is just commentary and explanation. All the rest.
Let’s not miss what really matters. Let’s make sure that our children see those priorities reflected in our calendars, our checkbooks, and our conduct. No disrespect to Fulghum, but everything we really need to know, we learn in the words of Jesus.
Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.