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New Beginnings - December 12, 2008

Posted Dec 12 2008 12:31pm

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small
stones.”

Chinese Proverb

Sometime between last Friday’s posting and today’s writing, I stored this quotation, so that I could use it this week.  I knew I had done that, but I couldn’t remember what it was.  And I didn’t know how appropriate it would be until today!  I have been steadily, over the past few days, carrying away small stones as I remove a whole mountain of final compositions, so my students can end up with grades at the end of the semester.  And all the while I’m carrying these small stones away, the students are hauling more in and piling more on!  It seems at moments as though they will never end, but then I remember that the final deadline for getting the grades done is 9 a.m. next Thursday morning.  So, this reading and more reading and marking and making comments on compositions will eventually end.  It will be done.  I love that about my job.  Every semester begins anew.  Ah!

I’ve gotten through a lot of things that I thought I couldn’t by taking it one stone at a time, one day at a time, until the mountain is finally conquered.  Never has anything conquered me, and truly, though some mountains are tougher than others, I don’t expect that any mountain will ever really conquer me.  I will always be the victor, and knowing that makes me very serene.  And thank goodness that I don’t have to look back or go back and handle any of those stones that I’ve previously moved anymore.  It’s over.  It’s finished.  Things begin anew.  But I know some people who move old rocks every time they get a chance.  I have no idea how they even get up in the morning.  Sometimes they choose not to get up, and I can see why! 

I remember an old spiritual that is appropriate here:

“Gonna lay down my burdens, down by the riverside, down by the riverside, down by the riverside.  Gonna lay down my burdens, down by the riverside.  I ain’t gonna study war no more.”

Thank the good Lord that we don’t have to keep carrying burdens forever.  Thank goodness we don’t have to wake up “fighting” life every morning.  Thank goodness we can go to sleep knowing that “although weeping may last for the evening, joy cometh in the morning!”

Beginning anew is a blessing.  Everyone should claim it!

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