One day I thought it would be cool to write something exciting. Something that hadn't been made into a movie yet. The desire to write started early, but manifested itself early on in the form of reading. Growing up I was quite the bookworm. One summer especially it seemed that I read everything I could get my hands on. I was so desperate that I even borrowed my sisters Jane Austin books and read them. That's right I read Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility and so on. Hey it was a boring summer and other than being a bit dry they weren't to bad. My favorite reading choice, even to this day, is Louis L'Maour and his boat load of westerns. I confess that I own all eighty some novels and that some of them have been read through five or six times. I started reading his books at a very formative age of my life. I credit him a lot with giving me the role model of what a man should be. My father has never really been around in my life being himself a workaholic and so I needed that masculine model that Louis L'Maour provided in his strong, quiet, but respectful book heroes. I identified a lot with his book characters and I emulated them in a way. It wasn't till later that I really got interested in the role models that the Bible has to offer. One Bible character in specific has always leaped out to me and been someone that I have always wished I could be in life and that person was Caleb. Caleb was one of the forty spies that went into the promise land to spy it out with Joshua. He along with Joshua were the only ones that were ready to march in and conqueror the giants and the peoples of the land. They had faith that God was for them and would deliver the enemy into their hand. For being just a background character there is a lot written about Caleb here and their throughout the old testament, but I guess the most impressive thing about Caleb that I seek to emulate was, that he was on fire for God all his life. He didn't slack off in his faith. He never said never, as he believed God was able to accomplish anything. That's how I want to be and am. Yes I have weak moments, but I've found that weakness is where God's strength becomes manifest in my life. When I can't do something, He shows me that He can. No one is perfect left to their own devices, only Jesus can claim that, but that doesn't mean we aren't to try to attain that perfection so I keep trying as I'm enabled by Divine grace to do what I could never do on my own. Well that's me in a nutshell, but I'm diverting from the original theme of the title, how I started writing. Well in a way you have to be exposed to life before you can write about it and that's what I experienced. Experience isn't all one needs to write though, not for me anyway. I needed Divine providence to start out and then Divinely given strength and inspiration to continue. I still need it.
Life got really busy in college along with my work that followed. Life got really hard too. Adversity can cause all sorts of things to happen. Some of them can be positive, if you let them be. I met my lovely wife and got married within a year. At that moment in time I thought I had finally emerged in life. This was it and I was ready to seize the day and live it to the fullest. It didn't happen like that though. Life got harder than ever before, just when I thought I'd reached easy street. A month after I got married I got laid off and my wife miscarried a baby that neither of us had been expecting or to my everlasting shame wanted. We were young and while we wanted a family we wanted to have each other for a while and make all that money that two working adults can. We had big dreams and a baby wasn't going to let us have them, but when you lose a baby everything changes, especially with a thought process like the one we had. When that baby was gone there wasn't anything we wanted more in the world than that baby, whether we could have afforded it or not. Three children later I can say that with each one of them that we couldn't afford to have any of them and yet we've had enough. Perhaps not much, but enough. People reading this, who have a relationship with their Savior, can attest to what I'm saying. There are those times when you add up all the bills and you write all the checks out and you buy enough food to last a week, enough gas to drive to a job that doesn't provide enough, but wait.........there's still money in the account! Where did it come from? You check the account to see where it came from and no matter how hard you look, you end up with more than the checkbook says you should. Welcome to heavenly provision pressed down from above. My writing has been a heavenly provision, just as food and the strength to keep breathing every day is a Divine provision. In that hard time I started to write. I had to do something to escape the often depressing reality of my life. At first they were just short stories to my wife and then one day I started something bigger, A Warrior's Redemption. That was five years ago. I wrote about forty pages before I stopped, with the note to write more when I had the time. The convenient time to write never came and two hard years went by before I began to write again. I was going to write something else, but something said that I should finish what I started. I started writing. I wasn't a good writer and I knew it. I had the thought at the time that I just needed to keep writing and one day, when I was better than I could come back and fix it. A Warrior's Redemption has been re-edited so many times that I've lost count. It may be the biggest book I ever write at 130,000 words, but it was a labor of love requiring a lot of perseverance. One thing led to another and I kept writing and writing and writing. Turns out that if you dream about writing, write all day, and then think about writing some more, then maybe its a sign that if you haven't gotten sick of it by now then maybe your a writer at heart. I traded a job in my profession which I drove nearly an hour and a half to each day, for a job out of my profession that was a lot closer and paid significantly more than what my college degree had gotten me. What was the job? A rock truck driver on a strip mine for coal. It was humbling. At some points in life you might be tempted to say that certain periods of your life were a complete waist of time and money, such as going to college for me, but don't! You learn a lot and become who you are, when you seemingly live through a period of wasted time. No time is wasted unless you let it be. A saying that I heard once that's helped me keep going is, 'Failure is only feedback, unless you let it become an end result'.
So driving a rock truck is about the most boring job on the planet. It's also one of the most dangerous depending on who you have to work with and what the job conditions are. A boring, sometimes scary job that pays a lot. Who knew right? Why don't they tell you this before you go to college? Anyway, there I was sitting in the cab of a truck that was five years older than I was, with all the abuse to prove it, for ten hours a day. I went nuts with boredom. One can only listen to so much radio before one goes completely bonkers and is ready to pound the radio into a piece of scrap metal. I was so worked up about the stress of going to work six days a week and being on a constant adrenaline high of watching the berm behind my back tires fall away with the prospect of plunging over backward off the dump pad, to the days when the dust got so thick that it seeped through every crack in the cab of the truck to form a visible smog that you could feel yourself die a little more with each breath you took in, as the dust coated my lungs. Both of those pail in comparison to the experience of driving down a haul road in the winter that's ice covered, in an 85ton rock truck that doesn't even have dual posit traction. You slide, you get stuck, you almost roll over, etc. Those stresses of the job were bad enough, but the boredom was the killer. My family had never had it better. There was more food and available luxuries than ever before, but I had to struggle to face each day of waking up at 4:30 am for another day at the pit. I felt like I was throwing my life away and trust me all kinds of negative thoughts can arise. I'm pretty manly as they come, but I'd come home some days crying. It was bad and I needed a way out. I'd been trying to write, in my few free hours of time at home, but it was more frustrating than anything. Finally I got the idea to write at work, but I thought it was an impossible endeavor. I prayed about it though and I asked for God's blessing and gave it a try. Divine ability and favor followed. It takes about one to two minutes to load a rock truck. The drive to the dump pad and then back to be loaded again can be anywhere from a few minutes to over ten minutes. In that plus or minus two minutes, while I was getting loaded, I wrote. I wrote during my nine o'clock break. I wrote for half of my lunch break, before I called and talked to my wife for the last half of my lunch break. Writing at work changed everything. I lost myself in the worlds and settings that I created on the fly so to speak, which I credit God for the inspiration of. Ten hour work days seemed to fly by and there were days that I regretted that the work day was over so soon, because I hadn't been able to complete my scene of thought yet down on paper. On an average day, in the brief segments of time that I had to write in, I churned out give or take about 2,000 words a day. In two years I wrote and completed twelve books and I'm working on the thirteenth at present. Talk about Divine providence! God doesn't always answer our prayers in the way that we would like Him to, but what's important is to follow the way that He leads you to go, even when it doesn't make sense or you think that He must hate you in order to expose you to so much misery on a daily basis, with seemingly no earthly security that comes of your sacrifice. That's the point. Stop depending on what you can do and simply let your Creator lead you into whatever adventure He has prepared for you. I desperately wanted and prayed for a better job, instead God gave me a way to keep the job that I had. I accepted it and thanked Him for the gift of writing that enabled me to keep my head in the game and keep providing for my family, when I had been on the verge of disappointing them by quitting. Funny thing is though that God answered my prayer after all. I learned to write and now I'm a writer. It's the best job that I've ever had and one that I would never have dreamed could have occurred to the degree that it has. I love my job! Good things can come out of adversity and the dedication to be faithful no matter what. I challenge you to let God write your own story and see where it leads. Guy III