It may well be true that I am backed up, over-commited, pressed up against some hairy deadlines and seriously behind in two-three big projects. But, and this is fundamental to the life-charged life, I also understand how critically important it is that I maintain some balance.
If not, then how could I possibly begin to write another new book? Let alone one that purports to advance my fundamental premise that we are called to live “The life that truly is life…” (1 Timothy 6:19)?
Consequently, when my friend Tim (McRoberts) suggested we get together at church, plug in our guitars, and jam for a couple of hours Thursday afternoon, I was there in a heartbeat. Because I’m always going to be a better writer when my soul has been refreshed.
So we plugged in, tuned in, turned on, turned up, and launched the “session” by laying down a twelve measure rock riff in E and seeing what developed. For me, the exercise was all about repeating the correct chord sequence and trying my best to pay attention. Tim is the one with the flair for lead guitar. I have to say, though, that we managed to knock out some great sounds between us.
Consequently, we’ve decided on a prelude strategy for church this coming Sunday. Instead of playing some gentle interpretations of the morning’s praise tunes during the few minutes before worship begins, I’m going to lay out the 12 measure rock sequence on my guitar. Tim will join in the second time or third time through. Then our drummer, Roland, will get on board.
After the third or fourth repetition, I’m going to invite the rest of the Praise Band – one instrument at a time – to add their instrumental voices. By the time pastor Tim steps up to the pulpit to begin the announcements (try to begin the announcemnts!), the entire building should be rocking… It won’t necessarily be raucous or screaming loud, but it will be different – and a lot of fun. I’ve got to be honest – I really can’t wait!
So what’s my point? It’s simple, really. We are not one-dimensional people, yet it’s so easy to approach life by wearing out the same groove over and over without applying any improvisation or imagination. This is how it can go – “I’m busy, I’ve got a lot of work to do, so I’ll put my nose to the grindstone until it’s done.” But sometimes it turns out the best answer is more like this – “I’m busy, I’ve got a lot of work to do… so I’ll go to the church and play some rock-and-roll for a couple of hours!”
I may or may not come up with some extra-genius writing insight just because I took a two-hour redirect. But I do know my heart and soul were refreshed. The point is not the product so much as it is the journey; but at the same time, I’ve seldom taken a refreshing side-trip on my journey without a direct benefit to my work… and my faith.
Psalm 150 – Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship,
praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.