Sunday, March 14, 2010

More About Journaling

For me the journaling experience has always been a part of my early morning devotional time. As I come to that hour I turn on the computer, bring up the last entry of the journal, and type in the date. In addition to the scripture, there are several daily devotional guides which I read during this time. One is written for clergy; one is written by Dennis Kinlaw, the President of Asbury College back in my days; and, the other is a pre-1900 devotional guide from my old book collection. As I come across a verse or a sentence which seems to stand out as a significant word for that moment, I copy it in my journal, noting the source, and my response to it. This gives me a record of what was going on in my walk with God on this particular day. It has also proven to be helpful to read back over previous day's entries and read these highlighted passages.
The journal discipline also provides a place to note some of the things about which I am praying. Sometimes there is simply a notation about a prayer and sometimes I actually turn to the keyboard and type in the prayer as if I am writing and sending it to God. So, what I end up with is a record of praying. It has been more than interesting to look at what I was praying about months ago, or maybe even a year ago, and see how it is that those prayers were handled by the Father God who received them. At times it seems like God is standing behind me, looking over my shoulder as I pray these prayers on the screen before me. It has become another way for me to be interactive with God about the things of my heart.
The bottom line for me is the journal has become another spiritual discipline. It is a constant reminder of the degree to which I am intentional about my personal life with God. While I do not require of myself an entry every day, a long space between the present and the last dated entry says a word about my commitment to being spiritually disciplined. In those moments my journal becomes like a call to once again do some re-arranging of the space in my life.

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