CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
When the big birthday came, I realized I had been a professional Christian, not a real Christian, all my life, from the age of fourteen. Everything I did and thought was forwarded to help others grow in relationship to God, not to help me grow in relationship to God. A more cynical way to look at it was that everything I did and thought was used to advance my professional career in the church. Either way, I have always been a professional Xn. [The abbreviation religion scholars use in making notes, for speed.]
I decided on a year-long professional fast. I would not think, read, listen, or write professionally, as a preacher, as a theologian. I knew the 40 days of Lent, the usual time for such fasts, was not nearly long enough to counter 66 years.
I thought I could continue to write CIW, in a non-professional way. That was a no-go. Writing CIW was mostly a temptation to break the fast. So on March 21, 2017, I wrote in this blog that I would “write no more forever.” It was time to give up my professional life, the life that had defined me since I was only fourteen years old, when I told God if “He” would save my sister’s life, I would be a preacher. By June 1, less than three months on the wagon, I realized that I could not stop writing.
But I still needed to see if I could be a real Christian, not just a professional Xn. So I decided I would write CIW only for myself. I would tell no one that I was writing CIW again, for to do so was to invite them to read what I wrote, and that meant I had to consider what they might think, how they would respond. That would be professional.
Previously I wrote Christ In Winter as a professional, for others. I kept a careful index so I would not bore readers with repeats. Now I just write whatever comes to mind, and if I repeat, I apologize. I also apologize to former faithful readers of CIW for not informing them that I am writing CIW again, but telling people I am writing is asking them to read my thoughts, and that is professional. I have told no one, not even my wife, that I am writing again. So if you stumble onto CIW, new reader or old, welcome. I’m glad you’re here. But you’re reading an amateur, not a professional. Well, maybe I don’t need to point that out…
I tweet as yooper1721.
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] We no longer live in the land of perpetual winter, but I am in the winter of my years, so I think it’s okay to use that phrase. I don’t know why I put that © on; it’s hardly necessary.
Following the critical and marketing success of her first Young Adult novel, daughter Katie Kennedy’s Learning to Swear in America, is What Goes Up, a July 18, 2017 release. She is published by Bloomsbury, which also publishes lesser known but promising young authors, like JK Rowling. Today she is starting her book signing tour for What Goes Up at Barnes & Noble right here in Bloomington, Indiana, where her mother and I were wed 58 years ago.
Speaking of writing, the full story of how God tricked me into becoming a professional Xn is in my book, The Strange Calling, published by Smyth&Helwys.
It’s neat; in writing circles, Katie is no longer known as my daughter. Now I am known as her father.