Photo by Jesus Mejia

We’ve Only Just Begun….

When I was young, my mother listened to a news talk radio station in the car. In between news updates, the station played popular songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, one of them being “We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters. As a lover of music, I quickly learned and loved the tune. Many years later, I watched the psychological horror film, 1408. In this film, the song was used over and over, signifying the restart of a terrifying hour for the movie’s hero. This forever changed how I heard the song, as I now recognized that the “beginning” is more unknown and unsettled. The beginning encompasses both the good and the bad.

In the movie Groundhog Day, a weatherman relives the exact same day over and over– each day starting at the beginning, as if he’d only just begun the day. It takes him an entire movie full of restarts before he realizes the importance of each beginning rather than his continuous rush to shift the ending.

In the Gospel of Thomas (18:1-2), Jesus’ followers say, “Tell us how our end will be.” Jesus replies, “Have you discovered the beginning that you would ask about the end? For, in the place were the beginning is, there the end will be. Blessed is the one who takes a stand in the beginning. That one will know the end, and will not experience death.”

There’s an old Yiddish saying: “The way it begins is the way it ends.” Remembering that life is a continuous cycle helps keep me focused on every fresh beginning instead of rushing to the end. Because if the way I begin is the way I end, I’m hoping that means I’ll be singing my heart out because of and in spite of it all. 

~Natalie R. Perkins

All content © Tanho Center 2016


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