Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1
- 1 Corinthians 11:1
As a writer there are guidelines, certain rules that are set in place to help us with crafting our stories perfectly. There are times those rules grate against what we know and do on a daily basis, making it hard for us to change our way of thinking - our way of writing. The easiest way to write is by putting down the things that flow naturally. However, these things rarely follow the rules, so we cheat. We jot it down, get the bad first draft off our chests, and then rewrite the work according to the guidelines. The finished piece is better because we've re-written it with the rules in place. Still it's hard to turn lose of what comes natural.
Sometimes I just need to be me. I play by the rules, study hard to write the way I'm taught, but sometimes I just need to be who I am. I'm a southern girl, born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains. Here the clichés are commonalities - part of who we are. I love to draw out my 'i's and cut off my 'ings, mix the southern dialect and the mountain slang into everything Appalachia. So let me bust all the rules, and tear up all the guidelines to tell you a story that is a very bad first draft.
My grandmother was a card (see, a cliché). She was hoot (oops, another cliché'). I recall goin' to her house one day and not findin' her . I run to the kitchen winder and yanked back the curtains. There she was, my grandmother, out in the garden tillin'. She never wore slacks - she always wore house dresses. She wore nylon hose pulled up above her knees, rolled over a wide band that secured them to her calf. She wuz out in the garden, tilling over them clumps of dirt that was bigger than a melon. That tiller was bumpin' and jumpin' over them clots like a young'un bouncing on a new mattress. There was a few times, I'd have sworn that tiller was airborne. So, there I stood watching her through the winder.
Down the first row she went, yankin' and pullin' on that tiller, fightin' it like she's after some wild animal. Grandmaw turned that tiller and started up the next row. Right before my eyes she hit a rock. It wasn't no clot, it was plain and simple, a rock. That tiller ground to a halt slanging her up and over the handlebars and landing her flat of her back in front of that machine. Well, needless to say, I went to roaring. So did my daddy. And while we laughed we watched her jump to her feet and straighten that dress, being more concerned if anybody saw her flip head over heels across that tiller.
Now the moral to this story is that the good Lord made us each one unique in our ways. He finds great joy in seeing us be the individuals we are, but when water boils out of the beans, He still expects us follow the rules, be the example.
That means I have to back up and re-write, putting all the rules in place - a second draft. Crafting and shaping the way I've been taught to put the words on the page. Spelling correctly, placing the commas appropriately, and making sure each sentence is concise and perfect. No cliché's and no bad grammar. Those same methods apply to our Christian lives. The Father gives us His Word to study and learn. This is what He expects of us. He sent His son, as the perfect sample of what we should be and He gave us every tool we need to produce quality work. We only have to follow the guidelines. Sure, we'll slip and fall upon occasion, but when we follow the rules He's put into place, we become the example He wants.