Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
A boy was watching his grandfather writing a letter. At one point he asked:
“Are you writing a story about what we’ve done?” “Or is it a story about me?”
His grandfather stopped writing his letter, smiled and said to his grandson:
“I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using.” “I’d like you to be like this pencil when you grow up.”
Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
“But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!”
“That depends on how you look at things.” “It has five qualities which, if we manage to keep, will make us always be at peace with the world.”
“First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding our steps.” “We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.”
“Second quality: every now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener.” “That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, it’s much sharper.” “So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.”
“Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes.” “This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; what it matters is that we should keep our way straight.”
“Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside.” “So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.”
“Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark.” “In the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be aware of your every deed”.