By Derek Maul

“Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.” – 1 Peter 3:16

My friend George took me out to play golf. The coupon included driving range balls, so I took four clubs and hit six balls with each for a total of 24. Then I stepped away, shaking my head.

“Can’t hit ’em today?” George said. “No,” I replied; “quite the opposite. I hit every ball perfectly; 24 swings, 24 perfect shots.”

So we went to the first tee, where I grabbed my driver, picked my line, and hit the ball with beautiful precision, exactly where I wanted. My next shot, just a pitching wedge, barely made it halfway there. Just like that, reality t-boned my game and it was downhill from there!

I could just as easily be writing about the way we handle the transition between our spiritual lives at church, and the day to day reality of living at home, in relationships, at work, and every stumbling block – from tee to green – between.

Playing golf I engaged the driving range and the course as two distinct experiences. We make the same error as spiritual beings, living as if we have A) a spiritual life, and B) a regular life. But that kind of compartmentalization is not true. We have a life, and it’s either a life where faith is ascendant, or it is not.
I’m wrong to think, “Oh, I need to make this experience outside of church feel like it does when I’m in church…” What I need to say is, “This is where I am, right here and right now. Jesus, I invite you to live in and through me today.”

It’s the same in church, at work, or in traffic – across the board. I need to invite Jesus in; I need to surrender myself to God; I need to be inhabited by the Holy Spirit.

There is no spiritual life that stands distinct from life itself. There is only life, and we engage it at capacity when we live it for Jesus – DEREK

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