Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | May 24, 2009

On Leaving School. . .

One feels that childhood is over now, and a sense of tenfold increased responsibility and independence, so to speak, is a weight upon the spirit.  The strings seem loosed which have hitherto bound and yet protected one,–a child’s obedience and diligence.  One’s future education and formation of character, whether for good or evil, depends now upon oneself; indeed in a measure one’s whole life, one’s happiness or misery through the whole pilgrimage, must be very very greatly influenced by, and dependent on, that important time, the first year after leaving school. 

Many a power of mind must be exercised which, as yet, has had little opportunity to try its flight; judgment and discretion in a thousand things are needful; one must think and act far more for oneself; self-denial must be learnt; oh so much has to be done!  As a child, the education of the mind was more in other hands, but now the education of mind and heart is confided to one’s own care, and there will be an account to give of how this has been performed. 

One’s spirit is a precious diamond; the rougher cutting work has been done by other hands, now one must undertake its further beautifying oneself, the polishing and grinding needs care and diligence and attention, and if neglected how shall we find an excuse with the great Master Jeweller, who had given the costly stone into our care? 

Now a different place in life, in society, and in one’s own family must be occupied; more is expected from one, many a little burden from which the child is exempt must now be taken up voluntarily.  Then the past years, as memory brings the long panarama slowly, one picture after another, before one’s view, how spotted, how defiled are even the fairest of these scenes; every year having brought new guilt to be mourned over! 

But thankfulness must not be forgotten amid the whirl of conflicting feelings and thoughts, not drops but rich full measure of happiness filled my cup, at least through the greater part of this time; and many blessings which till now I have scarcely been aware of, ought to make me very grateful to Him, who does indeed let His sun shine on the most unthankful and evil. 

Frances Ridley Havergal from Memorials


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