Friday, April 25, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

"Now I trust you will understand,
even to the end"
2 Corinthians 1:13

I'm thinking about endings today.  And how they affect beginnings.

Two recent experiences got me on this thought process.  One was an article about Andrew Jackson, in an old magazine.  I long ago threw away the magazine, but I had torn out the article and saved it.  When I came across it a few days ago, I decided to read it again. 

The article was about Andrew Jackson, but in the context of John Quincy Adams.  Jackson and Adams vied for the presidency in 1828, and the article focused on their differences, and how much "the people" (read: "average man," and as opposed to just lawyers and "learned" men) should be involved in politics.

But when I got partway through the article, I realized I hadn't saved the whole thing.  It ended mid-sentence, and I was missing a good-sized portion of the article.  So I went online to the magazine's website, and found what I was missing in their archives.  And having the rest of the article gave me insight that changed the point of the article.  When I started it, I thought it was about both Jackson and Adams, equally.  But as I read through to the ending, I realized it wasn't.  I understood the whole article better, because I had the conclusion.

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The other thing that happened was a conversation with my dad.  We were talking about the Diary of Anne Frank, which my son is currently reading for school.  My father happened to mention that he never read it, which surprised me, as he's very well-read.  So I encouraged him to read it, but he kind of shook his head, and said he thought that probably wasn't going to happen.

The conversation took a turn then, so he never actually said why he doesn't want to read it, but I know why.  It's because of the ending.  It's just too hard, knowing what's coming.

{Which, frankly, I can completely understand.  
But the optimism and joy in her words and attitude 
make it worth it to me.} 

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The ending makes a difference.  Knowing the ending can change everything.  It enlightens and gives context.  And yes, sometimes it's a lot to take in.  Knowledge can be burdensome.  But anytime we are given that knowledge, it's for a reason.  It's part of the gift that is wisdom.  And we have a responsibility to learn everything He teaches us.

~ "In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
a Branch of righteousness;
He shall execute judgement
and righteousness in the earth" ~
Jeremiah 33:15


  1. Endings and beginnings. So inextricably linked. I've always loved to think about this.

    Just stopping in to encourage you about poetry, since I noticed you were wishing over at Darcy's... to be able to inspire your kids to like it. I do think 'How to Read a Poem' is a great start. We have an audio by a 14 y-o, of the opening of the book, that is just infectious. You might find it useful to share with your kids. :) (Check out the end of this post: )