IRST, I want to sow the seed of a response to a reader who asked me a question about a very tough issue. She concluded her comment with the following statement: “I am unsure why I chose to write to you, but I do not know of anyone else that could comment without making this political.”
What she said made me very pleased with the “public” perception of this blog. My goal, as most of you realize, is to write – always – in the context of my grateful response to life, light, and faith. I intend to write about meaningful and challenging subjects, with an open spirit and a heart listening for God’s voice, and without falling into the trap of political slant.
So, thank you for the validation. And, yes, sometime this week I will comment about the subject that is on your heart.
If you look closely you can see my new herb garden there on the deck. It’s all clean and healthy, well-nourished and producing wonderfully. Look beyond, however, and you can see the “challenge” behind the fence. It’s not as bad as it was nine months ago; but it’s still got a long ways to go.
Fact is, there’s a real mess back there. It’s overgrown; full with weeds, brambles, and poison-ivy. Our vision is to have a path, some nicely mulched space between the trees, steps cut into the bank that runs down to the road, and a variety of shade-happy plantings throughout the year.
Starting this spring, I’ve been putting in a few hours here and there. But if I miss a week, things quickly slide backwards. Fact is, it’s two steps forward, one step back – sometimes two. To be honest it’s going to be an uphill slog for quite some time.
MY OWN UPHILL SLOG: Here’s what I’m thinking. It’s all our back yard. What people see (the pretty stuff), what I post on-line (the herb-garden), and what I don’t advertise or draw attention to (the mess). It’s all a part of the same truth that is our garden.
It’s a lot like Derek Maul. Saved by grace, yes; but also in constant need of rehab. Confident in my commitment to the light, to be sure; but also tangled in brambles, poison ivy, weeds, and decay.
So my prayer request this morning, sharing my concerns with my Saturday morning men’s covenant group, was influenced by the scripture we read together… by the week I’ve just completed… and by the back-end of my garden.
First, the instruction, the plan: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7),
Then, the question, the accountability: “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world?” (Colossians 2:20)
Let me live rooted and built up in him. Let me continue to be a work in progress – DEREK
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.