There’s an old and charming custom among our Jewish siblings: When children repeat the alphabet after their teacher for the first time, everything stops for a little celebration featuring sweet treats. The tasty practice recalls the words of Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are [God’s] words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Isn’t that wonderful, celebrating the start of learning something new? I’d love to see a custom like this take root and spread. Starting to learn something new is always worth celebrating, no matter who’s the learner or what’s the something new!
When we start learning something new, it doesn’t always mean we’ll take it all the way through to competence. Sometimes those beginner’s bumps are too much. And that’s okay. Sometimes we end up learning that this “something new” is really for someone else, not for us. And that’s okay, too. Let’s still celebrate the start of learning.
Here in the new school year and program year, we’ll have lots of opportunities to start learning something new. Let’s celebrate every one of them.
This message is excerpted from “Celebrate the opportunity to learn something new” by Audrey Novak Riley from the August 30, 2017, blog of the Women of the ELCA.
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