It’s been a long time since I’ve written a hundred words that mattered to me.
Hundreds of days and people and places worth capturing in prose went by, and words left unwritten twisted up in knots behind my shoulder blades. I fell in love and barely wrote a line about it that was simply for the sake of remembering. In the meantime, I wrote tens of thousands of words and wondered the whole time if they mattered to anyone.
As a discouraging academic year drew to a close, I searched for some sign of change or renewal in myself since I first traipsed barefoot across my stately college campus. At the end, the person I saw was weary and distant; wilting despite a steady watering of Coke Zero. We spoke more that semester of chapel attendance than of the Gospel. My own priorities, regardless of how clearly I articulated them, were disordered and blurred by discouragement, anger, and shame.
“I have done nothing well,” I said in the spring. Maybe I was right.
But I’d be amiss to turn the page without reflecting on the chapter, resentful of certain sentences and ignorant of their place in the whole story. Experience provides the structure for wisdom, and the sure way to waste a season is to leave the skeleton of experience untouched by the substance of discernment and gratitude.
I’d rather have hands that build.