Absenteeism from a blog over the 'silly season' is not unusual, I suspect. My end/beginning over the last couple of months has involved a considerable amount of upheaval, and sitting down to write has seemed an insurmountable task.
But even when I don't write, my mind is always on the blog - everything I see, I tend to write blog posts in my head, many of which never get put down on 'paper'.
Like this sign in a shop window I saw before Christmas that nearly made me cry...
And that is a perfect example of what I'm trying to explore this year in Project 3:11 - going a year without buying clothes. This officially started on the 1st of January, but ever since I decided to do it I haven't wanted to buy anything anyway. It's more than just an arbitrary challenge. But that's plenty more posts in itself.
So what will 2012 bring? 2011 went by incredibly fast - so many people seem to be saying the same thing, and I think there is something in that. A God thing. Though I don't know what it means, but things have been leading up to this time. It may not be the end of the world like some think the Mayan's were telling us!, but I think there are big things coming this year. I was going to say 'beginning this year', but the things that God is doing started long before now.
When you look back over where you've got to, it can be amazing to see the line of things that have fallen in to place, the path that was being laid out without you even realising it was all connected.
Like my decision to write this blog, coming long before I even considered I had anything worthwhile to write about has been a part of my journey to studying theology and biblical studies this year. Through writing a blog I have to come to read many more, and discover questions I didn't even know I had. Far fewer answers, though, which is always the way.
Sometimes things need to be deconstructed to be built back up. Like reading blogs like Rachel Held Evans', listening to and reading John Smith, listening to the Unbelievable podcast, beginning my study of the New Testament and discovering how little I really know about the collection of books I call scripture.
Some people criticise studying and questioning, because it is arrogant to think we can know everything and have the right to question everything. In some ways, with some motives, I agree. But the more I question, the more I realise how little I know. And sometimes breaking everything down can strip away the layers of tradition and religion and ideas that have padded out, or sometimes obscured, the truth. But of course the truth needs to take it's place - stripping back to leave holes and abstraction and a misconceived notion of freedom is not the aim.
I tried that once. I didn't like what I thought I was meant to believe, so I chucked it all out and replaced it with 'searching'.
The thing about Jesus, is in the midst of all the questions, doubts, fears and confusion that could possibly come our way, he is the Rock. This time that's what I want to get to. Not to chuck away the things that make me uncomfortable, but to get through the surface layers - all the things we have applied to Christianity that have formed a veneer that we often fail to get past - and get to Jesus, the rock.
So 2012 - a year of stripping back, a year of getting to the heart of things, a year of working out what really matters. One thing about time seeming to go so fast, is that you realise you don't really have a lot of it. And when there isn't a lot of time, why waste it on the things that don't really matter.