close out 2017 with an open mind… and an open spirit

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” – Mark 9:23

1-DSC_1087I’ve been reading a lot of cynical content online this past week. No sooner was the Christmas goodwill window beginning to close than out comes the complaining – loud and shrill – about how glad people are to see the back of 2017.

Well I’ve got news for us – complaining isn’t going to make one iota of difference going forward. There’s only one way to effect real and lasting change, and that is to follow Jesus, in the spirit of belief and light and promise and love.

For me, that means finishing the year in worship, with my faith community, is exactly where I need to be. Talk about putting it all in perspective.

The best possible way to handle tomorrow, or next week, or next year, is to engage the possibilities with an open mind and an open heart. Or, as I wrote in one book, “be openspirited…”

Openspirited,” my editor tried to tell me, “isn’t a real word. Maybe you meant openminded?”

After going a few rounds we kept the word. You see, sometimes our faith calls us to push the envelope, and to see the world in a different way, and to think differently. The opposite of openspirited would be closedspirited; that may not be a real word either, but it’s definitely a real thing.

So let’s be open to the possibilities. With faith, Jesus pointed out, ALL THINGS are possible. Even digging out of this cynicism. Even living a life defined by light, and love, and grace, and promise.

That’s where I want to be first thing tomorrow morning, getting January 1 off to the kind of start God intends, launching 2018 on the right trajectory.

Belief, light, promise, and love – DEREK

life Live Like You Mean It Uncategorized

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.

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