Something happened to me during the last quarter of 2012. Usually, my life is pretty mundane. I’d tell you just how mundane, but I don’t want you nodding off on me. Better just to trust what I tell you. My life is normally very, very predictable.
As 2012 drew to an end, however, it was like God took my life and gave it a good hard nudge. Personally, I blame the Mayans and their stupid round calendars. As much as I liked to laugh with much mockery at anyone who suggested the world would actually end on December 21st, there was probably some small part of me that was clenching its cheeks in preparation for the explosion.
Then again, it could just be because I’ve finally reached a point where I’m not scrambling to achieve, finish, or pay for something. My daughter has almost finished university. My son has almost finished his first year of A-level study. My wife is almost ready to go live with her small business venture. My current client is on the brink of a complete overhaul with regard to contractors, leaving people like me facing a very uncertain future. And my books are currently being edited or waiting to be edited.
The result is a feeling of weightlessness. It’s like that scene in The Matrix 3 when Neo and Trinity fly out to the machine city and momentarily break through the clouds. Except this is Europe and it’s December. If you flew that high you would just see more clouds. And rain.
So I did a couple of things that I didn’t think I ever would. The first was to write a secular novel. Well, actually it’s an anthology of secular short stories. Those of you with good memories may recall a blog I posted on the NAF a couple of years back in which I proudly declared that I write for God and that writing for any other reason was a waste of time. Well, guess what? God made me eat my words. Seems every time I make a “never” or “always” declaration of any kind, I end up doing what I said I never would or not doing what I said I always would.
So my current WIP is a secular anthology. I didn’t do it on purpose. It’s just that the stories follow a theme, and that theme is not a Christian one, or even a theistic one. They’re just stories for the sake of stories. They don’t even have a moral lesson, or even much of a purpose. They’re just bits of nonsense that I wrote purely for entertainment. Maybe God can use this to help widen my audience a little it, I don’t know. Maybe he’s just trying to teach me a lesson with regard to proud “never” and “always” declarations.
The second new thing I’m trying is baking. I don’t know why, but I got this sudden urge to bake a loaf of bread. This past week I’ve done two whole-wheat loaves, some scones, and a soda bread. This is from someone whose greatest culinary achievement is French Toast. And I didn’t need to have the kitchen redecorated afterwards. I just followed the recipe and tried to keep the ingredients on the table.
The last new thing I started doing was taking photographs. For my birthday this year, I received a cheap point-and-shoot camera and started taking pictures of some of the amazing landscapes we have in the area. I don’t normally like taking photographs. I always figured it was better just to enjoy the scene. Now, suddenly, I want to record these amazing images.
As this is the last day of 2012, I would like to say a quick neener-neener to all the scare-mongerers who started this Mayan end-of-world nonsense. I wish everyone at the NAF and all our readers a blessed 2013 and pray that God draws you closer to Him. And I pray that 2013 will be the breakthrough year for everyone writing in His name.