But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
The colors have not yet peaked here in Wake Forest, not quite. But I had a little available time Friday afternoon, so I took my Nikon D3100 for a stroll around North Main Street; I thought I’d take a chance on capturing a little bit of what makes this end of town so special.
The result is a mixed bag featuring a few changing leaves, a number of interesting homes, and a whole lot of Wake Forest flavor. It reminds me that I should never limit myself to waiting for “perfect conditions.” Great pictures – especially the interesting ones – are seldom handed to us on a plate; sometimes you have to go out there and dig; sometimes you have to try to see things beyond the limitations of the predictable and the mundane.
It’s the same with the way God constantly challenges us to experience life. Each and every day dawns bursting with possibility; but it’s not always low-hanging fruit. Sometimes it’s a climb; other times it means a lot of patience and a great deal of listening; once in a while it requires peering into the wreckage and asking God for some vision; then there’s simply crouching down and getting a new perspective, or consciously walking around with my eyes wide open.
We are invited to be as alive as it is possible to be!
Give me your eyes, Lord; let me listen with your level of acuity; trust me with a smidgen or so of divine creativity; lend me your beautiful words of life; teach me your way, your path, your truth.
It’s all there. But I seldom see all the way in, not unless I remember that saving grace isn’t about eternity so much as it is about being a part of God’s initiatives right now. It’s exactly what the scripture for today points out, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.”
Alive! God makes us alive! Alive with Christ! Right now! That’s what this great love, this amazing grace, this mercy upon mercy achieves. We are invited to be as alive as it is possible to be, and to become participants in what God is up to. That’s saving grace. And it helps me to see, ever so clearly….
(Check out the walking tour of North Main. The burned out house was an almost complete historical renovation. A huge loss for the town. But, for now, it’s still part of the story…)
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.