Man, I hate starting blogs. I never know where to begin and where I land is always way off topic. I read back over my posts and I feel like they are by necessity, awkward, and out-of-place. I do realize many people have communicated to me that they enjoy reading them, but honestly I do not attribute that to my method of writing or even to the content. Looking out onto the streets of Sondu, the town where the clinic is located, I see quite an assortment of people pass by. People wearing purple and pink sweater vests overlapping torn sweats, pastel-green golf shirts tucked into jean shorts while sporting shoes made from used tires, and little girls playing in the dirt with stained dresses that were originally bought for a child to attend a wedding. All of it is awkward, wildly out-of-place, and by necessity, but it is excusable because, put plainly, this is Africa. That is how I feel about my blog. When I begin, I feel I am writing out of necessity, they read awkwardly, and the ending is wildly out-of-place from the start. This one, my friends, will undoubtedly follow suit. But it is ok because I am in Africa.
On that note, I would like to call to memory your first year of college, specifically English 101. The treachery. Unlike some I failed to defeat the beast on my first bout and had to rest and recover over the summer. I went for round two the following semester where I slew the raging beast, rescued the damsel in distress, in my case a fair-skinned maiden who goes by C+, and continued on my college epic. You see I was not prepared the first time. I had been trained enough to shield the fiery breath by using spell/grammar check, and use conniving eloquence to sword dance long enough to suspend the pending doom, but I could not make the death blow. I could not compose a thesis statement. Ideas floated around the on the page while paragraphs were structured but the content was fickle. I detested funneling all my thoughts and ideas into two or three sentences. It felt wrong and still does, but, as I learned, it was and is completely necessary to continue on.
Here again I find myself in the same crisis. I need a thesis. But this time it is not for a silly paper and regardless if I do the detestable or not, the epic will continue. Simply put, I must settle on a living thesis that will focus the rest of my story. My life. As much as I detest settling on three sentences or so in a lousy research paper, the feeling is exponentially greater when doing so for my life. But when I think about the alternative, I am even more terrified. That my story would lack driving force and be governed by whims and chances. Then credits. The conclusion will not being a conclusion at all but an unexpected, confusing, awkward stop where the saddest part is not that it is finished but that nothing truly happened.
That must be what will happen right? How can a story with zero drive end up at a destination? How can there be an intended ending without a defined beginning? Who would want to read a story that lacked a purpose? Further than that, who would want to author such a thing?!
And so the detestable must be done.
As I write this post in a house dimly lit with a kerosene lamp, plagued with shadows, I know it must be done. As I read the Book I am tortured with the imagery of a tired runner, weak, and beaten but fighting with every bit of energy left to reach the end. Why does he fight so hard? Where is he going? The horror, it must be done. When I lie in my bed and pray to the Source of wisdom He grasps me and reminds me what wisdom is. Again, it must be done. I will no longer be subject to whim and chance and I most definitely will not haphazardly apply a sacred sentence to an accidental landing. We all need specific purpose and direction if we want a coherent conclusion. I will begin to find mine by subjecting the detestable to the Word, prayer, and guidance.