This morning I’m going to riff off of a couple of phrases that have been bouncing around in my head over the past four days. They’re not mine, so I’ll attribute credit. Here goes:
We won’t be transformed if we don’t want to be – but we keep coming back, that’s the epitome of hope! … If God could risk becoming one of us, surely we could risk making room for God – in an inn, in a manger, in our homes, in our hearts… – Rebekah Maul
Rebekah was preaching Sunday morning, and she asked the congregation, “What do you really desire?” It was a strong message, full with the disarming humor, the great stories, the deep insight, and the profound truth from God’s word we’re accustomed to hearing at WFPC. The sermon rang true on so many levels, but – for me – especially as regards these two ideas.
- “We won’t be transformed if we don’t want to be…”
- “If God could risk becoming one of us, surely we could risk making room for God…”
Transformation may well be risky business, but isn’t it more of a risk to remain where we are?
One of my favorite stories is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I first read the book while hiking the Appalachian Trail, and one of the reasons it captivated me is how close I had been to staying in my own safe cozy Hobbit-hole and waving off the idea of adventure. “Good morning!” [Bilbo] said at last. “We don’t want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water.”
But there I was, a full year and twenty-some countries of world travel after cautiously stepping out of my comfort-zone, walking more than the length of Virginia and considering taking God’s invitation to really live – “real and eternal life, more and better life than [I] ever dreamed of” (John 10:10) – as my life’s calling.
It may feel safe, and comfortable, and less risky to stay where we are… but the real danger is that we miss out on abundant life, the life – as 2 Timothy 6:19 reads – that is truly life – “So that they may take hold of the life that really is life!”
Throughout 2017 I have tried to pour much of my writing (and speaking) through the filter of “Tales from the Great Adventure.” Every day – every minute of every day – Christ’s invitation is the invitation to live, the call to live like we mean it, the imperative to live as if God meant it when we were created.
And God most certainly did – God most certainly does mean it!
That is where Rebekah’s powerful words took me this past Sunday morning. Transformation – if only we would. Risk – in response to God’s redemptive and invitational act of incarnation.
What would you risk for Jesus? How abundantly do you want to live? Come on, what are you waiting for?
Peace – but not necessarily quiet – DEREK
“Wait for it!” – Rebekah Maul
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.