it’s not always easy to be a work in progress…

Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won’t be torn out; you’ll survive—but just barely. – 1 Corinthians 3 – The Message)

img_7928Once again, Maul-Hall is a mess. Yes, I understand, it was just last month the new roof went up, and so much rot was replaced. Then there was all that work last year… and the year before that. But isn’t that what life is – a series of remodels, tear-downs, renovations, excavations, and reimagining? Isn’t demolition and reconstruction necessary to life and growth?

Well if you read what I had to write about being comfortable last week, then you can guess that I’m really not a fan of disruption. But I’m even less of a fan when it comes to decay, and neglect, and the disintegration that always accompanies our unwillingness to move forward.

So this time it’s the master bath.

In the beginning, there’s the sense of, “It would be nice to remodel.” And, “After all that surgery and pain and the back issues, we really should consider making the shower safer and include a grab bar.” And, “We never use the tub, so why not replace it with something more accessible?”

img_7924Then, after the demolition begins, it’s more, “I can’t believe how poorly that was constructed!” And, “If we’d have known it was that nasty back there, we’d have done something sooner.” And, “Now I’m scared to find out what’s behind those fittings.”

In other words, leaving well enough alone doesn’t change the fact that repair is necessary. The ants that came scurrying out from behind the crown molding would still have been there if the carpenter hadn’t taken it down (that’s a picture that won’t soon get out of my head!).

Like I said, I’m not a fan of all this disruption to my comfortable routine – and it’s likely going to continue for two to three more weeks. But I know how important it is for us to take care of this home, and to dig a little deeper every now and then to address what needs to be taken care of.

A Spiritual House:

Yesterday I quoted the Apostle Paul’s writing when he used the metaphor of “a spiritual house.” My foundation is Jesus, and that is completely secure. But at the same time I am an ongoing work in progress. I need constant updating, remodeling, and renovation. Sometimes even there’s some demolition that’s called for.

The absolute worst I could do would be to say, “Leave me alone, Lord, I already know all the answers, I have this journey figured out, there’s really nothing I need to learn.”

img_0398I’ve been there before: I’ve been arrogant, I’ve been resistant, and I’ve put the brakes on the kind of spiritual growth that requires an open heart and a humble spirit. But not any more…

… But just be gentle when it comes to the demolition, Lord, please…



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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, 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.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. As extensive exterior repairs due to termites were causing me much concern, my youngest daughter said, “It’s okay mom, just open up your wallet and let the money fly out!” It has!

    Liked by 1 person

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