Wednesday, July 8, 2009

maybe if i write...

one of my favorite songs by mandi mapes is titled "maybe if i sing" and the chorus says this: "maybe if i sing to a crowd of strangers, maybe somehow i would see, that the war is won, look how far we've come, did i forget all the times that you carried me?".

so, maybe if i write...

i've been thinking - and praying - and thinking some more about this path or rather, all the various paths, i have taken thus far in life. i had decided that i must be one of God's most stubborn children or most selfish and while that has certainly been true at times, it seems the majority of the detours and wrong turns are attributed to some sort of spiritul attention deficit disorder. i am so easily distracted, so easily drawn away, so oblivious to details that i've often found myself in the thick of the wilderness before i've even realized i'm not traveling any specific path.

i grew up in the woods. literally and figuratively. we had a literal beaten path that we could walk from our house to the mailbox and main road without having to use the long, winding driveway. i walked this path frequently in the mornings and afternoons to catch the bus. years later, i would walk it at night, sneaking out after my parents went to bed, to catch a ride with friends.

one could attribute my fearlessness of walking through the woods at night to the naivete of youth or lack of common sense. i prefer, of course, to think of it as the former - although, frankly, it doesn't seem that i've grown completely out of either.

one of those nights, it was darker than usual, and within a couple of steps, i was completely off the path and in the midst of thick brush and total darkness. suddenly, i wanted to go home. i stood still for a while, hoping to hear a passing car on the main road and move in that direction. silence. i looked back in what i thought was the direction of the house hoping to see a light. darkness. instinctively, i wanted to call for my parents. i wondered if they could hear me from where i was. but the consequences of their being awakened by the screams of their teenage daughter in the woods was more than i could bare. after all, i was already on restriction - which is why i was in this predicament to begin with.

more silence. more darkness. more longing for home, my home, my bed... my mommy. finally, a light. two of them, actually. headlights steady in the distance. it was my friends, waiting to pick me up. i made my way towards it, blindly, pushing branches out of the way, tripping over brush, getting scraped by briars. by the time i made my way out of the woods and into the driveway, i was dirty, tired, scratched and bleeding. i'm not sure where were going, but it couldn't have been worth the journey. only i couldn't see that. you know, because of the naivete of youth and all.

that story is a literal recount of one night in my early teenage years, but its also a figurative tale of how a couple of steps off the narrow path have led to many nights, months, sometimes years, of darkness, longing for home, often too fearful of the consequences to call for help.

this is my last postcard from adulthood and first of many from the narrow path. knowing myself, it will take more determination and perseverence and focus than i have ever known. God enables us to walk by faith, but we still have to learn the discipline of determination and focus.

so, maybe if i write...

this is where i will write about the journey. the walk. what will sometimes be, invariably, the crawl. and about all of the things He teaches me, reminds me of - and how He changes me - along the way.

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