(For the uninitiated, “Theology for Grasshoppers” is my attempt to tell my story of faith to my grandkids. I hope I’m around long enough to tell them personally. But just in case I reach the finish line before I get the opportunity, these letters will be the record of what I believe and why I believe it…in words and stories they can understand.)
When your daddies were little, they grew up around music. I played my guitar for them all the time. Our youth group was always singing together. I took them to concerts. We listened to all different kinds of music, most everywhere we went. Sometimes, me and Mimi would even have disagreements over the types of music I would let them listen to. She still gives me “that Mimi-look” when I’m listening to some of the music I like. It can get pretty loud and crazy!
One of the reasons I love music so much is because I believe God has put music inside our hearts. It’s a form of communication that’s been around since…well, since people have been around. The writers of the Bible wrote about singing and making music as much, or more, than just about any other topic. Music can motivate us, soothe our sadness, touch our hearts on the deepest level, and speak for us when we have no words.
I want you to grow up loving music. I want you to sing and make music in your hearts. I want you to be little rebels in the culture you are growing up in and not be embarrassed to sing at church or in the school choir or at the top of your lungs in the car. God made us to sing. God gave us lungs to express our joy and sadness…and gave us music to make it beautiful.
I have a song I want to give to you. Of all the songs I have ever heard, this is my favorite. It’s an old song (written around the time your daddies were born!) It’s a really simple song and the style is no longer popular. Just a guy singing and playing the piano. I knew him. His life and his story were amazing. By the time you guys grow up, I hope he will not be forgotten.
His name is Rich Mullins and the song is called “If I Stand”. Every single word of this song is important and it speaks to me in a very personal way. But there is one line that stands out. To me, this one line is the single greatest line in any song that has ever been written.
It will always be my prayer that these words will come to mean as much to you guys, as they have meant to me:
“The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the Giver of all good things.”
Be wise, Grasshoppers.
Maybe someday you’ll watch “Ragamuffin”, the movie of Rich Mullins life. I think you’ll be glad you did.