I sing little songs to myself while I’m waiting.
This fact was made known to me quite recently, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
I teach classes for a non-profit organization. As part of my job, I demonstrate procedures before I have the class follow along with me.
Several months ago, while I was waiting for the computer to process the steps I had just entered, I sang to myself. The class proceeded to sing the little tune with me before they erupted with laughter. Shocked, dismayed, and wholly confused, I asked what had struck the class with amusement. They reported with glee:
“You always sing that song while you wait.”
Oh. I thought, smiling to myself. I didn’t know I did that.
We continued along our merry way, but I wondered at the genesis of such a specific quirk.
As most of the stories of my development begin, this habit of singing random songs during mundane acts can be traced to my grandpa. Here are a few examples:
Every time he finished a meal he enjoyed, he’d sing a made-up tune to the phrase, “That’s good enough for me.”
Sometimes I find myself singing that same song after a good meal, a knowing smile on my lips.
Whenever we came home from the store, he’d sing, “To market, to market, to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggity-jig.”
I have been known to sing that song whenever I return home, grocery bags in my arms.
I never realized my grandpa’s little songs were so deeply embedded inside my being. Of the many things I love about my grandpa, I never listed “singing while waiting” as one of his characteristic traits. And now that my class had pointed it out, I finally see this endearing part of his character that I had inherited.
Every time I sing, I think, Oh, yes, he does that.
Followed by, Yes, I do that, too.
How did I come to adopt such a habit?
Anyone who knows me knows I adore my grandpa. I loved spending time with him. I heard his songs. This singing habit was formed, not because he told me this is how things are done, but because I watched him at work. And because I watched him with such adoration, I picked up his traits as my own.
As Christ followers, Jesus tells us this:
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15 NIV)
As God’s family, as Jesus’ friends, we can know how to act more and more like our Father by watching and learning from His Son.
Do you want to know how to be loving? Watch Jesus.
Do you want to become more compassionate? Learn from God’s word.
Do you want to know what to do next? Be about God’s business.
The more we spend time being about our Father’s work, watching his Son, reading and believing his Word, we adopt more and more of God’s character into our own lives. It happens when we:
-Forgive someone before they apologize.
-Invite loved ones in our home to share a meal.
-Stand up against injustices laid upon the poor, oppressed, and the forgotten.
-Extend kindness to the person we don’t understand.
-Strive for peace between ourselves and our enemies.
-Serve others, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit the prisoners.
-Step into the mess of relationships and wash it with grace.
In this way, God truly lives in us. We make his love complete and make Him known in the communities we live.
We may not even realize that we’ve embodied God’s traits, but when we do, may we think about Jesus and say, with a song in our heart:
Oh, yes, He did that.
And with a smile on our lips, say,
And yes, I do that, too.