It’s another outrageously beautiful morning here in Wake Forest. I got up fairly early, walked (or should I say “sauntered”) Scout Labradoodle, then took my first cup of coffee out onto the deck so Rebekah could sleep in. It’s a quiet neighborhood, so the only sounds were the birds, and the occasional dull slam of a car door as people head out to work.
I love beginning my day in the context of this kind of peace. Clearing my head, reading the scripture, chatting with God. It’s not all that long, but including my walk it amounts to a good forty-five minutes of focused calm before the various responsibilities of the day begin to crowd in.
I doesn’t matter what the day looks like; the responsibilities can be as serious as back-to back meetings, putting out fires, and crisis intervention… as routine as making travel plans, doing research for a project, and organizing a retreat… or as mundane as packing lunches, paying bills, and cleaning. Regardless, we can either move into it all from the context of a few quiet minutes with God – or we can stumble into the fray already anxious and a little lost before we even begin.
- “Be still,” the psalmist writes, “and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46)
- “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads,” Jesus reassures us, “and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
- And again, from Jesus – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27
When I know that, come what may, I have started my day in intentional communion with Jesus, then it sets a trajectory that is – quite frankly – the only reasonable option we have if we really do want to live as Children of God in the way our Creator intended from the very beginning.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
(he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel):
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. – Isaiah 43:1
“I made you; I redeemed you; I called you; you’re mine! Any questions?” – God
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.