Your word is a lamp before my feet
and a light for my journey. – Psalm 119:105
One of the questions that constantly comes up when I talk about faith is, “How do I transition from someone who checks in with God once in a while, to a disciple who quite literally walks with Jesus?”
It’s a challenge no matter who you are, or how you structure your life. Dads, moms, teens; preachers, teachers, construction workers; politicians, lawyers, musicians; engineers, army generals, pilots…. We’ve had the same conversation.
That’s why I always start with the very beginning of the day. It makes more sense to get on board with God and then remain there – going forward – than to leave the decision (and it’s always a decision, even when we don’t think about it) for another time.
It’s this idea of trajectory. That’s why I took the above photograph of the kitchen counter this morning before I poured the coffee. My Bible was already there. No matter where my journey takes me today, I know I have started it in the presence of God and with a portion of the scriptures.
Simply put, the only way to walk with Jesus is to invite him to be our guide. It’s an invitation that needs to be renewed daily, and it is an intention that requires a constant stream of incremental adjustments, not just day by day but moment by moment.
When I hiked five-hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail I was always looking for the white blaze on the tree that told me I was on the right path. A double blaze signaled a shift in direction.
We were always looking ahead for the next blaze; it didn’t stop us from enjoying the view, talking with other hikers, or taking a brief lateral trail to see something along the way. But the blaze was always our reference and constantly on our minds. If we had waited to check for the next marker around lunchtime – like saying grace before a meal -we’d have been hopelessly lost in no time at all.
That’s Jesus. His intention is to walk with us, not just meet up later for lunch, or wait to check in Wednesday evenings at church, or in response to a hurried request when things aren’t going our way.
Ten years ago this month my first book was released. GET REAL documents my understanding of this following-Jesus journey, and these few words still challenge me today:
“It’s about engaging the Spirit because we are hungry for God. It’s about becoming disciples so that Jesus can pour his life into us. It’s about learning to love God with our heart, mind, body, and soul. It’s about having the courage to actually follow Christ – to place one foot in front of the other, to dare to live a life of grace” (p. 30).
Every morning, every hour, every day, every opportunity – DEREK
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.