Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. – Ephesians 5:15-17
There were two distinct features to this Sunday – Mothers’ Day – that I want to touch on, and I’m not going to know if they need to be two separate posts until after I start writing.
First, there are a lot of graduations going on around here, and it was “Senior Recognition Day” at WFPC. We love our teenagers, and we’re always thrilled to experience such active, enthusiastic youth and young families. But it’s especially meaningful when they stand up together and we can get a good look.
Not just meaningful but bittersweet, because this is also “goodbye” as they head off to college or work all over the state and the nation. “What were we thinking?” Rebekah said in her message; “it’s Mother’s Day of all days! We’re holding them close and sending them on their way all at the same time!”
The Training Wheels:
It reminds me of the day in Pensacola when we took the training wheels off our daughter Naomi’s bike. She balanced, wobbled, quickly got the hang of it, turned out of our driveway, and headed up the street. “So long, mama!” she yelled over her shoulder, “I’m outta here!” – and she was gone. It was a Mothers’ Day – what were we thinking!
So we send these amazing young people out into the world, and we want them to be grounded in their faith. “Be careful how you live!” The writer of Ephesians cautions as the training wheels come off and they zoom off to college and life. Take a good look at the world around you, and make decisions rooted in wisdom. This is one amazing opportunity that you have – an opportunity to serve God with integrity and with purpose. Be wise, be faithful, be the very best you can be and engage God’s guidance and friendship along the way. Encourage one another and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
The training wheels are going to come off, Mothers’ Day or not; they have to. It’s our job to get out there with a screwdriver and a wrench and begin to let them go.
Watch Them Soar!
So we remove the training wheels and we stand aside and we watch them fly – often so far away that we can’t begin to see over their horizon. But they do come back. Sometimes it’s a quick trip around the block and there they are; sometimes they fall off and we have to patch up skinned knees; sometimes it’s a much longer journey….
Sometimes they are gone for a long time. Sometimes – like me (and now our son) – they end up in a different country on the other side of a great ocean. Sometimes it comes full circle and their training wheels are exchanged for your cane, your walker, your wheelchair…
Sometimes that glad reunion is postponed indefinitely, and it has to involve our tears, and our faith, and our grief, and God’s mercy, and the promise of eternity.
This weekend our “training wheels girl” came to Wake Forest for a Mothers’ Day surprise, and she brought along her own children too. Who needs flowers when the grandchildren are so beautiful?
So be careful how you live! Take a good look at the world around you, and make decisions rooted in wisdom. This is one amazing opportunity that you have – an opportunity to serve God with integrity and with purpose. Be wise, be faithful, be the very best you can be and engage God’s guidance and friendship along the way. Encourage one another and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
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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.