it’s time we stopped building defenses around our viewpoints, and started valuing new perspectives

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. – John 20:1


writer Derek Maul keeps finding Jesus pop up in all areas of his life

I’ve talked about perspective before in this space. I’ve even used the same basic illustration. But this morning, once again but from a different angle, I was again struck by how completely different something can appear based on where I am standing, the time of day, the atmospheric conditions, the season, and so much more.

But I’m not too worried about repeating myself. First, everything I share in this space is simply another take on my essential message about light, life, faith, and passion. Then, there’s this story from a recurring speaking engagement I had in Florida:

Every February for several years I was invited to speak at a community men’s breakfast in Zephyrhills, just north of Tampa. On one occasion I opened my remarks by explaining that I’d lost my notes from the previous year, “So please forgive me if I repeat anything you’ve already heard.,” I said. At that point, an older gentleman called out, “Most of us are over 70! It’s Tuesday morning and we don’t even remember what the preacher talked about Sunday. You could say exactly the same thing every year and it would be brand new for us!”

So here we go. Next verse same as the first. But it’s a message I’m seriously concerned this nation isn’t getting, and I’d like to see “all hands on deck” in spreading the word.

  • Simply put – “If we refuse to look at issues from alternative viewpoints, then our conclusions are going to be one-dimensional, inadequate, and stilted. No matter where we stand, there is always something to more to learn.”

1-IMG_2286Today I took a different route for my early walk. So I found myself on the street behind our home, looking back toward the house in the morning light. I’ve included both the standard front view (taken yesterday) and the way the I saw things earlier today.

I haven’t “Photo-shopped” the images. It’s all the same house. No fake-news here….

And I can’t help but think about the way we approach healthcare, and religion, and the right to bear arms, and race, and equality, and immigration, and redistricting, and war, and so much of what divides us.

We stand at one side of an issue, and we see things as clearly as we can, and then we don’t move an inch.

  • 1-IMG_2261“It’s a typical red-brick colonial. That’s a fact and that’s that.”
  • “I’d much rather live in something more woodsy, featuring more of a natural yard.”
  • “I’ve always preferred siding, but this house is brick.”
  • “What else is there to know?”

Well, there’s always a lot more to know. About absolutely everything.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when some folk get to chat with God over coffee or a beer their first week in Heaven.

  • Fundamentalist: “I’m actually uncomfortable about the whole beer thing.”
  • God: “The Pharisees said the same thing to Jesus.”
  • Evangelical: “Why is that guy here, he’s a liberal progressive?”
  • God: “I love him so deeply.”
  • Literalist: “I read my Bible verses exactly like an instruction book.”
  • God: “I prefer the way my friend John explained things when he realized he only had the space to share some of the stories”: Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe. – John 20:30
  • Literalist: “But you wrote the Bible so we’d know exactly what you think about issues, and how we should judge other people.”
  • God (facepalms): “It is the narrative history of humankind’s struggle to know me and to understand my ways. My servants recorded these stories ‘that you may believe’.”
  • Derek: “I should have been open to learning more from the people I’m picking on in this post, shouldn’t I?”
  • God (facepalms, again): “Derek… I so wish you’d understood this long ago….”

There is always more to know, to learn, to uncover, and to understand – I believe this learning curve will continue into eternity.

But don’t wait for eternity, open your hears and your minds and your spirits now!

Learning every day – DEREK

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