The Law of Entropy

Posted on March 28th, by nicholas in church, creativity, experiment, memior/cnf, rumination, vocation, writing. 1 Comment

The Law of Entropy

{in this post, blogger jeremy statton reflects on how writing has changed his life.}


The last time I was given a writing assignment was my freshman year in college for a history class. And that moment almost became the last time I expressed myself through the written word.

I was headed to medical school, a life dedicated to science. My goal was to solve the world’s problems through surgeries and medicines. To me writing was a nuisance. An undesired chore.

Fourteen years later, however, I finally put pen to paper again, and it changed my life.


The Plan

As a senior in high school I decided to become an orthopedic surgeon. The course of my life was set. College. Medical school. Marriage crammed into the empty space somewhere. Maybe kids. Then Residency.

My plan was like the life of science I pursued. Precise. Without error.

For the most part, life went according to the plan. Kids came earlier than expected. Much earlier. But it all worked out.

Mixed in the background of everything was church. Although life is full of uncertainties, for me church was not one of them. I attended every Sunday, dressed in coat and tie, armed with my Bible. I fit the mold demanded by our beliefs.

I viewed God with this same precision. I was one of those people who held the answer to everything. The world was black and white and the Bible was a prescription for whatever problems you faced. Even if it didn’t help. Even if you didn’t like it.

God was understandable and I, more than anybody else, felt I understood him. I had all of the answers. Yes. I was one of those guys — I was a jerk.


The Mess

You would think a scientist would understand the Law of Entropy, that instead of being predictable and organized, life becomes messy.

Eventually entropy happened to me. My tidy view of God fell apart. I was forced to choose between a family member, someone I loved, and my church.

I then did what I never imagined I could: I quit.

Suddenly, like a tornado that reaps devastation in just a moment, I found myself standing in a heap of rubble. All of my answers, all of my certainties, were laying at my feet, ripped to pieces.

The world becomes a scary place when the one thing you felt certain of completely falls apart.

Entropy sucks.


The Medicine

I found myself on a journey that I had never intended to travel. A journey to find myself. This gave me a reason to write.

Writing became the imperfect medicine for my broken soul.

In some ways life started to make sense again. In other ways it didn’t, but writing helped me heal.

It wasn’t much, only a blog that nobody read. But it became my place to hearl. To confess. To explore different ideas. To meet new people.

A place to find me.

And writing has changed me forever:

  • Writing helped me understand the questions that were swirling around in my head and gave them substance.
  • Writing gave me the confidence to explore new ideas.
  • Writing helped me meet new people who struggled with the same questions as I did.
  • Writing showed me the value in people, especially those that are different from me.
  • Writing forced me to ask questions about what is most important in life.
  • Writing taught me to take risk.
  • Writing taught me to feel instead of just looking at the world through the lens of science.
  • Writing taught me to love.
  • Writing helped me find God again.

I am still an orthopedic surgeon. I am still married, now with six kids. I go to church, but it is completely different. I go not out of duty, but out of love.

But now I am a writer.


Jeremy Statton is an orthopedic surgeon and a writer. He blogs about Living Better Stories. You can follow him on Twitter or download a free copy of his eBook Grace Is. This post originally appeared on Jeff Goins’s website.

image credit


One Response to “The Law of Entropy”

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is great! Thanks so much for sharing . I look forward to reading more from you.

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