This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it! – Psalm 118:24
This – above – is the view from my study window this morning. Misty, cold, melted snow, leftover slush, the promise of rain, messy. The vista is shrouded in clammy winter cloud, everything drenched with cold damp. The beauty of the fresh snow and crisp iciness has been replaced by several layers of drab.
No one will be posting photographs of this on social media, with the caption “Winter Wonderland in North Carolina!” But – and I hesitate to write this because it reveals me for the cup-half-full dreamer that I am – I find it all kind of beautiful, and I’m including a photo or two because I believe today’s dreariness illustrates an astounding and important spiritual truth.
The truth is that this is the exact day-to-day stuff real life is made of: The magic of Christmas Eve is just one day a year; the beauty of Sunday morning worship comes but once a week; we don’t see that many fairytale winter landscapes here in North Carolina; spring trees covered in rich blossoms come and go in a heartbeat; the peak of fall color lasts just a few days. But the rest of the time – the majority of days – life is routine and unspectacular.
In my estimation however, it’s right here in the nitty gritty, the day-to-day, the predictable sameness of “life in middle America,” the ebb and flow, the ordinariness, the realness and the struggle, that we have not only the opportunity but the imperative to shine.
We are now in what the Ecclesiastical Calendar labels as Ordinary Time.
Ordinary, maybe, but this is also what is so extraordinary about this life of following Jesus, and why I like to talk about the gift of each day as a new chapter in the ongoing adventure! There is wonder around every turn, there is beauty in every relationship, and there is deep meaning in every single possibility we uncover.
The psalmist wrote, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” The line is also translated, “This is the day the Lord acted” (CEB), and “The Lord has done it this very day” (NIV).
I really like that last one: THE LORD HAS DONE IT THIS VERY DAY! So let’s get on board with the work God is up to, live like we mean it, and live into our salvation with conviction and with enthusiasm!
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.