For some reason people like numbers. Lists too. Lists that include numbers, even better. So today, for fun and illumination, I’d like to share:
“10 interesting numbers for Jan 10.” Or 10 for 1.10.2020.
- “2020” – My prayer this year is for clarity. Not just for myself but for those of you interested enough to tune in. I believe clear vision is a spiritual gift, because it is only when we clear the fog of distance between ourselves and God that the big ideas – like meaning, and purpose – begin to come into focus. Focus and vision! What is our vision for the future, both immediate and long term?
- “25” – that’s the number of pounds I have lost since I decided not only was I uncomfortable but I didn’t like the way I looked. Correct weight is not about some prescribed BMI score or social expectations, it’s about comfort and health. And right now I feel both comfortable and healthy!
- “4,742,769” – That’s right, my Fitbit sent me an email loaded with my 2019 stats. Apparently that’s the number of steps I took, averaging 13,000 per day. It’s also 2,238 miles. Consequently, I think five million steps and 2,500 miles is a reasonable goal for 2020.
- “137,904” is the number of visits/views during 2019 here at derekmaul.blog. Lest you think it was my mother, logging on 137,000 times, my stats also tell me there were 27,602 visitors (meaning some people stopped by maybe once a week, but read several posts at one time).
- “64” – I will turn 64 in March! One thing I won’t be doing is wondering, along with Paul McCartney, “will you still need me, will you still feed me?” Because, for Rebekah and me, forty-plus years is simply affirming and confirming the beautiful trajectory of our relationship.
- “3” – Rebekah and I now have three grandchildren. Three is a lovely number.
- “4,426” – The distance, in miles, from Wake Forest to Dresden, where our newest grandchild lives. Thank goodness for our visit there when “Mr. T.” was born, and for the wonderful family time reunion here in North Carolina over Christmas.
- “826” – This is not a number I was looking to incorporate; I much preferred 145. It represents the number of miles from Wake Forest the other two grandchildren will be when they move from Richmond to Miami next month.
- “4” – Four is the number of years it has been since I released a new inspirational book. I would like to say I am confident something will happen in 2020, but I honestly don’t know. I have a lot of ideas, but it’s hard to get moving without a few dedicated, focused weeks with my head down. Please pray A) that I find the time, and B) that a publishing house will be interested in my ideas.
- “6,629” is the current count of “followers” at derekmaul.blog. This is how many people have signed up to receive a notification every time I post. Obviously, they don’t all read all the time, because my average weekly “views” is around 2,650. The 6,629 is like church membership and the 2,650 is like Sunday morning attendance. So one of my goals for 2020 is to up my level of engagement.
The point of numbers is to measure. But numbers only effectively quantify. The more important priority is the relationships that live somewhere inside the data.
Our grandchildren could live on the Moon but I wouldn’t love them any less and I would move – literally – heaven and Earth to be with them. Same for our children – all four of them.
Writing a new book is also no more than a study in logistics unless its pages are inhabited by the power of the breath of God. Please pray that for all my writing.
Hopefully looking at these numbers has quickened your interest. I am praying that your focus will shift from the data to the reason behind the numerals. The reason is my commitment to a 2020 defined by clarity and by growth not in quantity but in love, light, grace, mercy, and promise.
All of that to you, and more. Love, light, grace, mercy, and promise – 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.