leaning in to God on a rainy Saturday

Your decrees have been the theme of my songs
    wherever I have lived.
 I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;
    therefore, I obey your instructions.
 This is how I spend my life:
    obeying your commandments. Psalm 119:54-56

David and Beks

Today is another one hundred percent rain day. Fine for splashing around in puddles; or, more to my preference, drinking coffee and working on the novel. If it’s going to be ready in time for Christmas I’m going to have to get more than a lot done over the next month.

Meanwhile, down in Florida, Naomi and Craig’s little family are finally on the road home from Disney. Hurricane Matthew forced them to spend an extra day at the Saratoga Springs resort (you can see the children making good use of the “hurricane day” in the photograph) and today they’re attempting to negotiate Interstate 95 all the way to Richmond.


Today is the kind of rain-soaked Saturday that says, “You may have all sorts of plans to get things done, but we all know that’s not going to happen.” This leaves two essential choices: watch too much college football on television, or settle into the mode of “contemplative.”

rainy view from my study

Contemplate means to consider thoroughly; to think fully or deeply about; to have a purpose or intent. The word comes from the Latin contemplāre, literally to survey or observe.

We understand contemplate pretty much exclusively as a verb. But I like its application as a noun. Someone can be a contemplator; or, as the idea found its expression in secluded religious orders in the Middle Ages, a person can be described as “a contemplative.”

I really like that as a moniker. This is the kind of day – nonstop rain on a quiet Saturday – when I’d like to be, “Derek, the contemplative.”

Being a contemplative is actually an ongoing response to daily life that helps to define who I am as a disciple of Jesus called to be a writer who works to encourage other people.

Here in the US of A we’re all action! action! action! – and that’s a good thing because it’s important to put our faith and our vision into practice. But I believe we could benefit from more contemplation, more listening to God, more deep thinking, cogitating, ruminating, considering, mulling over, pondering. Leaning in…


30574411992c13168c4178c3d75061aaI like the image of a percolator. It’s still – sentimentally – my favorite method of preparing coffee. Rebekah had an old battered percolator with a glass bubble on the top in her dorm room, and I loved to watch the hot liquid bubble up, settle into its work, then repeat any number of times before finally letting out the long sigh that signaled the coffee was ready.

Today is the kind of day where my relationship with God can percolate, repeat and recycle, settle in to deep places, and nourish every part of who I am.

It’s a good day for nurturing relationships. It’s a good day to hunker down with God. It’s a good day to lean in. – DEREK



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