One of my favorite scenarios involves Rebekah and I together, camped out at the kitchen table one at each end, sipping fresh ground coffee, both working on a writing project — creative juices flowing.

Outside it is raining. Has been all day. But rainy weather is good writing weather, good for ruminating; I like that word.

‘Ruminate’ (a verb, pronounced /ˈruːməˌneɪt/): to think carefully and deeply about something.

“Thinking carefully and deeply.” Oh, yes! America could use a little more ruminating right about now. Ruminating and then its natural companions: self-appraisal, self-questioning and a humble heart. Oh, we love to question other people, especially folk we don’t like or disagree with. But how about turning our questions inward? How about keeping the following questions front and center?

  • We are all likely wrong at least half the time, so what can we learn from people we disagree with?
  • What should we maybe think through more on our own, rather than blithely swallowing whole and without question?
  • Isn’t it time to invest more thought outside our ‘only people who think just like us’ silo? It’s not very healthy in there.

Anyway, back at my end of the table I am finishing up a blog post about ‘wisdom’ before writing an article about ‘humility’ for our church webpage. It occurs to me that the two words are related.

At Rebekah’s end of the table, she is putting together Sunday’s sermon. This week, the key words are ‘kindness’ and ‘goodness.’

Turns out we are very much on the same page. Here is what I am thinking. I’m thinking the New Testament book of James nailed it: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

The scriptures suggest — no, teach — that we should all work at replacing our dark, angry, negative, hostile ways with more kindness and goodness — along with some humility too.

Won’t you join me in practicing some extra wisdom, humility, kindness and goodness this coming week?


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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