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Reading the Manual

Like many people on Sunday, I spent a quiet day yesterday. Part was spent in study, part in worship, and part in socializing. During each of those activities came reflection.

I doubt if writers ever truly stop writing since so much of the outside world gets rolled into potential material use. Yesterday was no exception to that unwritten rule.

For those who haven’t spent time with an official manual for Microsoft Office 2010, take the time to do it. I began my in-depth study of it yesterday and came away astounded at the possibilities for my future work. Does that mean that I haven’t been using Office 2010?

Nope. I’ve used it for nearly a year now—as a simple point and shoot word processor that allowed me to put words on-screen, add and delete, and create unsophisticated raw formatting that could maybe impress the local insect zoo. I had no clue that the whole package could do so much.

Why? You ask. Simple. The software comes without a manual.

Anyone who’s bought software or downloaded any in the past few years knows that the only option for major understanding of it is to go online and read the tutorials, etc. for that particular program or pay to take a class. Only then do you get the overall picture of uses, functions, and potential support needs.

I happened, by chance, to find my small manual in Borders not long after I had purchased Office 2010. I wasn’t happy about having to buy any support books for it. I felt that given the price of the software, it should come with an actual manual.

Extra time is something I didn’t have a lot of at the time and the manual got put aside until later. So when we began this journey of ours, I threw it into my work satchel so that when I found some down time, I could learn the software.

Nice thought, wasn’t it? Actually, yes it was, because when I decided to do more than glance at the manual, I found a world of possibilities I will be exploring for a long while to come.

It was like Christmas.

In fact, all of yesterday had a sprinkling of holiday cheer to it for no specific reason. I went to bed with that satisfied feeling, coupled with anticipation, of having come to a junction in my life. Oh, not because of the software study, although that did give me pause.

The reflection that I’d done had broken loose some unrecognized needs that required fulfillment. That’s when the light bulb when on. That’s also when I knew that my life was taking another turn.

I suppose that sounds a bit out there, but what I rediscovered were neglected layers of me and my own potential. I started asking myself what the manual to my life contained that I’d never paid real attention to. That personal question needed more reflection. As a result, it became a late night.

The odd upshot to this is that my daily life won’t look much different from what it is now—at least for a while. Later that will change, but then all things do given time.

In many ways this trip of ours has rewritten my life in profound elemental ways that others can’t see. The mundane chores and tasks of my life remain as always. What has changed is the underlying processor that’s become supercharged to travel on unexpected highways of life.

I don’t know how all the facets came together yesterday to elicit my personal epiphany. In the end it doesn’t matter. Irony does manage to enter the picture. I began my day trying to understand Word. I finished reading The Word. In between those two activities my life shifted. That’s quite a bit to expect of a Sunday, don’t you think?

Until later, folks, a bientot,


  1. March 26, 2011 at 12:41 am

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