Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

24 March 2009

Path - What Led Me to Here

The Way. The Road less traveled. The Highway (information, usually). Parkway, Interstate, County Road, toll, bridge, trail, track, etc, etc, etc. So many ways to express the method of getting from place to place. Yet, do we even really know where we're going? I started college sure of my destination. I was going to be a pre-med major, with a minor in biology and chemistry, and then I planned to attend medical school and become one of the world's foremost physicians. Yet, after barely more than a semester, I realized that I was studying to make others happy, and not myself. So, I had a period of introspection, and thought, "Hey, I am good at arguing and defending a point or position. Law School it is." Paul Reed, Esquire had a nice ring to it. I could defend the rights of the oppressed, defend the Constitution, and help uphold the law. However, after a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law, both attorneys, both cynical and trapped, and also both of whom fervently advised, pleaded, threatened, cajoled me not to stay in the pre-law path. Thankfully, I listened. Seeing where their path has led makes me happy my stubbornness has bounds. But I digress. So, I am now a sophomore in college, taking business classes, because I reasoned that they would be useful regardless of my eventual career. Along the way, I was taking Spanish classes basically just because I liked it (still do, ;)). I was also taking PoliSci classes for my own personal edification (I guess I am extremely stubborn). But, there was something about those language classes. I just couldn't get enough, couldn't stop. I decided to go to Venezuela after graduation to continue with the Spanish. I went, had the trip of a lifetime, and my path was getting clearer. I had unsheathed my metaphorical machete and cleared it up somewhat. So, Spanish. Well, I wanted to continue, and that meant grad school. I had met this beautiful brunette in college, and become rather enamoured. So, where to go, where to go. She was going to Memphis, TN, and that city happened to have a MA program in Romance Languages and Literatures. Beale Street, Elvis, and barbeque (easy Texans, pork bbq, not beef, not brisket, REAL BBQ!!!) beckoned. Two years, lots of Spanish, lots of papers, the addition of Portuguese, the finding of my true calling, Linguistics, and great friends and a church that helped me grow is what I found in the Bluff City.

Fast forward a bit. Here I am, a professor at a great school, in a great city, surrounded by awesome friends. I have a wonderful wife whom I adore, and I have recently been accepted into a doctorate program. God truly blessed my broken road, my path less traveled.

If I would've continued in what I wanted, I would probably be a resident in a program, hating life, lonely, and wondering, "Where did I go wrong?" Yet, God was there with me in those anxious days, nervous about choices I was about to make. He led me where He wanted me, and I thank Him daily for it.

Where is your path? Is it yours, or are you guided by the Creator? Interesting thought............I welcome responses, or other path stories.

Sorry for no picture, I couldn't find one that went with the entire story. Google maps maybe, with the detour function on?


  1. Great story, Paul! Its amazing what God has in store for us. Thanks for the story and the encouragement!

  2. I read on Jose's blog, "People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent." - Bob Dylan. I think Bob was talking of the majority of people (believers and non-believers) who take the path mostly traveled.

    There are a few who take the path less traveled and look back giving God all the credit for what God did in their life.

    Thanks for bleeding, Paul.

    Create your own “social network blog” at Enjoy!

  3. That's a great story. I didn't answer the call to the ministry until half way through my bachelor's degree in graphic design. I went ahead and finished before going on to seminary. Kind of an odd combination, but it's served me well. And I'm sure your broken path has served you well too.