The Journaling Sacrament

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV

I’ll be honest. Before I was a believer, I had no clue who or what a Moleskin was. I quickly observed that in my Christian circles, “journaling” seemed to be a popular activity. It seemed apparent that if I wanted to grow in my faith, then I would have to put aside time for this “sacrament.”

As it turns out, Jesus never explicitly mentions time with God means time with a pen and journal in hand. Yet small group leaders, mentors, and wise men and women around the world continue to encourage the wonderful time that is spent journaling. Several years into my faith now, I do too. Nearing the last pages of my current journal, I purchased a brand spankin’ new black book. One of the simple treasures in life: a  round-cornered, college-ruled, ribbon-bookmarked with a bonus-pocket-in-the-back journal.

As a number-loving engineer, writing is not always an easy or enjoyable pastime for me. I typically prefer lists, charts and fancy plots. I have Excel Spreadsheets that contain to-do lists, reading plans, workout schedules, budget and more. Not joking. Yet, I’ve learned to adore the time I spend writing because of what the journal becomes.

It keeps a record of where I’ve been spiritually and emotionally. It outlines a path I’ve been on, with quotes or verses that at some point in time had a significant impact. It serves as a reminder for passages that contain huge nuggets of wisdom. Some pages are filled with heartfelt pleads to God for help; other times they describe explicit examples of God’s goodness and kindness toward me. Sometimes, I just have jotted down unanswered questions that I hope get answered at a later time. Together, those 240 or so pages encompass a bit of the state of my heart and mind at one point in time.

One of my favorite things to do is read back to old journals; to choose a randomly selected cross-section of my life to see areas where I’ve grown or learned more. Whether I want it to or not, it can also reveal areas of weakness or parts of my life that I have not yet surrendered to the Lord.

The journal serves as an abbreviated display God’s work in my life or the lives of those around me. I find answered prayers and concise proof of God’s faithfulness in times of need. I find it so great and valuable that in my extremely limited perspective, I am surprised God hadn’t commanded “Thou shalt write twice per week.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s