When I was at school, each morning we were all required to attend a school assembly. This daily gathering was clearly a Christian service with a reading, a hymn, and prayers. Looking back, I see how the teachers involved wanted to give us an understanding and a real faith, to set our feet on the Rock that is Jesus, but sadly, at the time, I missed their intentions totally.
It seemed to me that the reading was nearly always about Jebusites, Amorites or Perizzite (my erroneous perception, I’m very sure now that it wasn’t), but since I lived in London, I felt at a loss as to any relevance to me. So, I switched off during the Bible bit, and every day the idea that the Bible was irrelevant settled in my young mind.
However, I always loved singing and so I freely joined in with singing the hymns, although the words didn’t register as relevant to me at all at that time. When I finally came to know the Lord for myself, many years later, I realised how much of the truth in those old hymns had indeed lodged itself somewhere in my inner being. This treasure was just waiting to drop into place in my life when I was willing to recognise its value.
To this day, despite enjoying many of the new songs and choruses, I still love those rich, theology-filled old hymns, that we sang so regularly at school. And what’s more I even realise I had imbibed quite a lot of scriptural truth, despite my seemingly deaf ears.
But there is one other thing that we sang at the end of every assembly. It went like this:
‘Forth in Thy name oh Lord I go, my daily labour to pursue, Thee, only Thee, resolved to know in all I think or speak or do.’
More than anything else this little refrain still rings in my heart each day. It helps me to remember that it doesn’t matter what God sets before me to do on any specific day; I just need to be true to Him in every way I can. This will involve the way I think, what I say, and how I behave. Quite a challenge, but my desire and one which I pray the Holy Spirit will help me to grow in, daily.
As I look back at my school experience, I am so grateful for those Christian teachers who tried to plant God’s words into my often-indifferent heart and focus us all on a daily walk with God. I would love to meet with them in heaven and say a belated thank you for trying to set me on a path of truth and light. And perhaps I would have to add, I’m sorry I was such a slow learner.
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