My little six-year old, Dru, graduates from kindergarten today. He is pretty pumped. His graduation reminded me of a great little book.
Twenty or so years ago, Robert Fulghum wrote this little priceless book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Here are a few lines from that book.
ALL 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 sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
So do we.
© Robert Fulghum, 1990.
Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7.
Pretty solid advice! But, as my little Dru will soon find out, we all find out that there is the expectation to learn more and go to school more—a lot more. But, even in all of our learning, the writer of Ecclesiastes gave us a couple of things we must all learn. I summarize those thoughts with two sentences.
The world will lie to you about the meaning of life.
Most of the book of Ecclesiastes is devoted to illustrating the preacher’s thesis. He gives example after example of how life is meaningless.
(1) The emptiness of human wisdom
(2) The emptiness of work
(3) The emptiness of pleasure
(4) The emptiness of fame
(5) The emptiness of wealth
(6) The emptiness of relationships
(7) The emptiness of life itself —We all will die
This list of vanities is loaded with application. Don’t spend your time focused on these things, or else life will be meaningless. To the youth, don’t spend so much focus on trying to be popular. Don’t get involved in the pleasures of this world like alcohol (2:3). Many have tried these routes, but in the end find them to be meaningless. To the young adult, don’t spend needless energy trying to amass your fortune. Many try, but in the end discover that wealth is meaningless. To the senior adult, don’t spend needless time or money on endless measures to keep yourself from dying. In the end, God designed us all so that we would die.
The Wisdom of God will lead you into more life.
God reveals these truths not to bring us pessimism, but to bring us perspective.
Obviously, the preacher’s view of life is pretty pessimistic. However, as pessimistic as it sounds, without God, the preacher has analyzed correctly the nature of life upon the earth. Yet, in a relationship with God, we can enjoy life and are even instructed to enjoy life.
Where do you find this wisdom?
First, you find it in relationship to God. Second, you find it in the Word of God.
Pray for all of those who are graduating—the kindergarteners, the high school graduates, the college graduates, and those with higher degrees. May all know to seek God and all other things will be added unto them. (Matthew 6:33)
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