I am a firm believer that life will provide us with lessons when we need them.
How have I come to this conclusion? By recognising those lessons and realising that life is so generous, even if we miss her voice the first time around, she will remind us in years to come when we really need to know.
I will never forget the biggest lesson life taught me as a mere child and the unexpected outcomes that lesson has led me to in my adulthood.
I was seven years old and walking home from the movies by myself. I noticed a mandarin tree in someone’s front yard, so I stole one, discarded the peel and ate it. The fruit lodged in my throat and I started to choke. I couldn't breathe. The skies darkened and it became very cold. Within moments the rains fell heavily. Despite my age and the predicament I found myself in, I was strangely calm. What was the thought that went through my seven year old head? "I'm going to die here in the rain".
I coughed and the fruit dislodged itself and flew on to the road. I knew right then and there what I was being told.
'There are always consequences to your actions'. Basic, I know, but a revelation to my young mind.
I have carried that lesson my entire life. Whenever I have been tempted, that lesson returns. Whenever I have a decision to make, I contemplate the consequences. Will I have to explain my choice on my judgement day?
Where has that one lesson led me now?
At 39 years of age I wrote my first novel "The Day Of Legion."
I am now 40 and I sit with amazement when I see it displayed on Amazon and realise the connection with that small child choking in the rain, receiving the gift of a life lesson.
The story is based on a phrase in the bible - "And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying; My name is Legion, for we are many." Mark 5:9.
This was the basis of the story because it was a powerful phrase that stuck in my head from Sunday School when I was a child. That, combined with my other lesson, became an idea, which became a story, which became a novel I am immensely proud of.
I use the choking example in ‘The Day Of Legion’ for a character who unknowingly meets his guardian angel and is reminded of the lessons he has learned through life, before he is thrust into the battle between good and evil.
Although I don't believe for a moment Life provided me with a lesson so that I could write a book at a time in my life when I really felt the need, but because I paid attention and lived by that lesson, I was able to do something that I had wanted to do my entire life. 'The Day Of Legion' is the physical expression of the richest lesson I ever learned.