By Derek Maul

The irony of chair-camping in the orthopedic surgery unit is that it feels like a fast track to orthopedic surgery. After Rebekah’s operation we’d expected a broken night, interrupted by checks, pills, and procedures, and awoke grateful for some progress and the beginnings of healing.

The morning air is fresh, the view is clear, and the promise of a new day is greater than the memory of the pain. The dawn is a powerful reminder that we are constantly moving forward into new light and new life.

If you read this column often you know I live out of a theology of promise and light. “Living out of” a particular theology is an important idea to wrap our minds around, our hearts around, and our intention too.

The word “theology” means God thought – being deliberate and reflective when it comes to how the fact of God informs and shapes us. In that sense, we’re all theologians. But becoming a conscious theologian involves looking at God, considering God, reflecting on God, and then living out of that frame of reference with intention.

This is why it’s important to understand exactly what theology serves as the lens through which we view life, the root truth that anchors our orientation, and governs how we engage our moment by moment.

I believe we can choose that point of reference. However, rather than simply memorizing a “life verse” we like, “living out of” an intentional theological perspective requires more considered reflection, deeper study of the scriptures as a whole, and articulating our understanding of who God is.

For me, especially at this particular moment, and in the context of both political tension and the challenge of Rebekah’s surgery, I am consciously living out of a theology of promise and light.
“In [Jesus] is life, and the life is the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not, cannot, overcome it” (John 1:4-5, author paraphrase).

What theology do you live out of? It’s worth taking the time to think about.

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at