There is a black Moleskine journal on my desk that contains proof of the faithfulness of God. While the proof inside may or may not be convincing to you, it powerfully strengthens my trust in my God who has provided for me and my family again and again.
There’s something so tangible about this record of faith, that I even treat my journal with an extra level of honor. If my office was on fire, this book and a few pictures are really the only things I would care to retrieve. To me, like the pictures, it’s content is priceless.
My journal helps me remember.
It’s almost shameful how quickly I forget. And I forget important things. Things that, in the moment, consume my life, quickly become vague memories that are filed and forgotten. But this isn’t the way I want to live my life. I want to remember. I want yesterdays discoveries to guide todays decisions. I want to allow the layers of character and humility to build up in my life. And the only way that this can happen is by remembering lessons learned. Remembering prices paid. Remembering valleys and mountaintops alike. My journal helps me remember; and by remembering, I grow.
My journal helps me reflect.
Remembering is the first step, but it’s not the last. Once I remember, I need to reflect. Here is a definition of reflect that might be helpful.
Reflect is to think about (something or someone) carefully especially in order to make a choice or decision
When I remember and reflect on the past, I become a far better decision maker in the present.
My journal gives me courage.
I need courage…often. As a husband, as a father, and as a pastor; I need courage. Courage to blaze new paths, to change direction, and to keep going even when the path is almost impassable. When I remember the faithfulness of God, reflect on His goodness in the past, I gain courage to walk into the future.
If you don’t currently use a journal, I encourage you to consider trying it out. You won’t regret it!
Also, here is a great article from Desiring God entitled “Journal As a Pathway to Joy,” that I think you might enjoy.