January 1: New Year’s Day

VII. If My Grandmother Had Wheels

“How crooked were my paths!”

By the time I was almost 33, I had done two things I wanted to do since I was a teenager; I went to graduate school and I ran for office. Could things have been different? When I follow my path up that age, I am amazed at how careless I was and how transactional I was with people.

All along the way, I can see where the path could have diverged. I could have been nicer, more sensitive, and formed more genuine connections. But I didn’t feel genuinely connected, and if I tried to act genuine, I’m sure people would have seen through it, and I would be writing about how I acted genuine but wasn’t. I made fun of everything and everyone, having, as one person said, “disdain for the process.” Indeed.

I feel a kinship with Augustus Toplady, writer of the great hymn, Rock of Ages. He was a scathing critic of John Wesley, who was the consummate politician. Wesley founded Methodism, and there are Methodist churches everywhere. Toplady is obscure, holding firm to the Calvinist line.

“Shall he stand at the door of the human heart, and leave it to the option of free-will to insult him from the window, and bid him go whence he came?”

My character was formed and shaped by you as we interacted. Had I done things differently, it wouldn’t have been me doing them. Yet, I have choice; I am the writer and you are the editor.

“You set us free from our wretched wanderings and plant our feet on your path and comfort us and say, ‘Run! I will carry you, and I will lead you all the way to the end, and there I will carry you.’”

To January 2