About three years ago, I entered my dad’s car and rode with him to Jinja. To be a little more accurate, I was dragged to Jinja. And as I entered his car, I felt like my life as I knew it was about to end, like I had fallen off a cliff and was careening to a very certain death—the death of my dreams of writing.
My dreams of writing were being sacrificed at the altar of a more honourable vocation—Hotel Management—and I was being driven to the best hotel training institute (or so, I am told) in Uganda.
We had just driven a few metres away from home when the last verse of Amazing Grace hit me like a meteor falling from the sky.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the stars
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first began.
Those four lines played over and over in my mind, each line warming my heart and filling me with an inexplicable joy as I sat next to my dad.
“Are you ok?”
My dad had seen the silly grin on my face.
I immediately wiped it off and nodded. Yes, I was ok. I was more than ok.
I was given a place at The Hotel and Tourism Training Institute. The course would take me three years. And though I didn’t know how I would study Hotel Management for three years, I knew that three years were just a molecule of time in comparison to eternity.
Dad called me every single day for the first month of school. He was worried that I might throw in the towel after a few weeks of school.
I didn’t throw in the towel. I completed my three years. My last paper was on Friday. And I entered my bed at 6am this morning after spending the night out with my friends.
This morning I went to church. For the first time, I was twenty minutes late. I was surprised that I didn’t doze through the sermon. But I guess it was because I was excited to be leaving Jinja after three years of school. I couldn’t wait for church to end so I could go and pack my bags. Dad is picking me up in the evening.
After the sermon ended, we stood up for the closing hymn: Amazing Grace.