2020: “Sorry, a system error occurred”

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

IMG_0735
Still from today’s devotional

I have two things for us today.

The first is my wife Rebekah’s video blog from this morning. Ever since the coronavirus splintered our church community into several hundred separate locations she has recorded daily devotional messages (three to five minutes) that run 5-6 days a week. They are accessible, relaxed, very personal, and always spot on.

Here is the link to this morning’s (Coffee with Rebekah – Thursday July 9). It’s a devotional routine I know will lift you up, and we could all use some of that!

Then, “I’m out of balance” –

One of the collateral effects of this COVID-19 lockdown has been – and still is – a loss of balance. By balance I mean the “normal” rhythms of life. Not intuitively knowing the day of the week; not being where we had planned to be for vacation this month; not shopping when I typically shop; not driving to the church Sunday mornings for worship and Wednesday nights for dinner; not having Rebekah home from work, because now home is work; not running the vacuum on the usual afternoon because work needs quiet; not cleaning the bathroom because I do that right after I vacuum; missing the day I usually mow the grass because every day is pretty much the same; never washing the car – because I am out of sequence….

IMG_0699So the cars had been dirty since the early fall (2019? 2018??). Things are less desperate in the vacuum department, but there is catch up to do and the dust-bunnies are not only large but more aggressive! Then my car just doesn’t seem to want to get clean any more.

I finally did wash both vehicles a couple of days ago and you know what? It felt really good. Not so much my aching shoulders, hurt back, and stiff neck, but the getting something done part.

It’s not a “pause” button any more:

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spelling error noted!

Here’s what I think. I think we’ve been kind of in a “holding pattern” since this thing got started, like we hit the “pause” button thinking we could jump back in after a couple of weeks to pick up where we left off.

Now instead of everything frozen in time, all ready to go, there’s a “Session Expired” banner where we thought our lives would be, or an “Error” message with the warning that “some or all of your data will be lost,” an unresponsive blue-screen, or one of those Apple sad-face icons and an ominous lit fuse left as the only reminder that we were doing anything at all.

I think there is this growing realization that we can’t plug back in so easily and that – for some things – our session has timed out and the system has crashed.

Rebuilding can be good!

But don’t despair, because sometimes rebuilding can be so much better than what was lost. Especially for people of faith. “I just want things to get back to normal” is not the voice of someone who is wide open to the fresh new breezes blowing in from the Spirit of God.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

The only way to move forward is with the windows down and the roof open and tomorrow coming right at us. The pause button never really worked anyway, it was never a part of God’s plan.

 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 
 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:4-5
“Trustworthy and true!” – 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.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Thank’s Derek, I believe you have a firm grasp on where a great may of us are right now. I found Rebekah’s Wednesday coffee time revealing when she woke up and thought it was Sunday and no sermon! Although I go out to work each day I often find myself mentally confirming what day it is.

    Jim Wills

    Liked by 1 person

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