In many ways, our life is like a journey. Listen to the language David uses about his life in Psalm 23: "He leads me beside still waters … He leads me in paths of righteousness … even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death … goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life … (Ps.23)” Yes, life is a journey and God is with us ... each step of the way.
Ever since I was 17 years of age, I have kept a journal. For many years, I used a spiral notebook that I wrote in by hand. Over the last few years I have created a document on my computer as my journal for each year.
A journal can help you be more aware of our life's journey. You can use it to record the inner journey of your heart and life. You can write down the adventure as it happens. You can take stock of what is happening in your soul, of your location on your journey, and you can look for patterns that emerge. You don’t have to write well ... just be real.
I write different things each day and some days I don't write anything at all. The following three questions are a helpful grid for thinking about what to write about.
1. What is happening in my life right now? What is coming at me? What are I going through? What am I experiencing at the moment? You can use your journal to record the various activities, experiences, and events or your life.
2. How am I doing? What is the state of my heart? Am I happy, sad, thankful, discouraged, angry, frustrated … and WHY? Look inside and examine the state of your soul. Read the internal weather and report on it. Just writing it out helps you to understand yourself a bit better and become more self-aware of how you are really doing.
3. What is God saying to me? What is God up to in all that is happening in my life - both externally and internally? What could HE be doing in and through all of this? Try to see the finger prints of God in your life.
Reflection can remove the fog. It helps you discover the story that God is writing in your life … rather than just rushing through. We may have busy lives but let's not have busy souls. Pause and reflect!