Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:15-20
Now I could play the comparison game and say things like, “I remember the autumn colors of 2014. That was the best. This year doesn’t nearly compare.” Or, “What with the extended summer heat and the six-week drought, there was never a chance this year’s display would be that good…”
But I’m not going to. Instead I’m simply going to point out that we live in a beautiful place, the leaves are changing, the climate here is a joy to experience, and I am all kinds of grateful.
Friday I had a lot of errands to run and found myself all over the Wake Forest area. Every turn of the road revealed more evidence of what a lovely, refreshing time of the year this is. My grateful heart smiled the entire time.
In today’s scripture Paul encourages his friends in Ephesus to “Live wisely.” It is clear that “living wisely” means to live with a grateful heart. To live with not only our eyes open but our hearts open too.
We all have this opportunity, every morning, we have this privilege: we can say, “Thankyou, bountiful God, for the gift of this day, please help me to live gratefully and to respond to this blessing with kindness, grace, and generosity.” Or, alternatively, we can find some reason to pay homage to darkness and regret.
When I was a classroom teacher I read research that concluded that. “It takes seven positives to override one negative.” So I made a poster, displayed prominently on the wall. Regarding that seven to one ratio; I say “Why risk it?”
“Giving thanks at all times and for everything”
Happy fall, y’all! – 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.