It’s worth more than you can imagine. It takes on a life of its own and moves you outside the church and your prayer closet. In a culture so filled with senseless distractions and fanciful delusions, believers long for depth and understanding.
Is that your longing?
More details about the Bible, does not equal depth or understanding. What you seek is only found in living through challenge and crisis. And, challenge and crisis form the raw materials for a priceless Faith Journal. The journal that helps you make sense of the senseless.
Journals can be a nicely bound book of blank pages, a pen and pad, a file on your computer, or an app on your phone. The form is not important, the value is in words you write, they are snapshots of your heart, private and priceless.
Please don’t get lost in writing and editing and proofing your words. Just write. Relax and let God connect with your day. Before you know it, He will work with your words to release your mind, flex your emotions, and collect your insights, adding wonder to your days and depth to your relationships. In the writing you will discover depth and understanding.
Think of your Journal as an adventure report filed from your current location while you are embedded in mystery.
Some of your journal entries will open cans of worms that haven’t been shared with anyone. They will reveal moments of pleasure and pain, but the painful ones will dominate. They tell the story of conflicts and choices, usually beginning with a retelling of how everything started.
So. as your fingers prepare to light up the keyboard, ask the “What happened?” question and at the appropriate time move on to “Why did it happen?” followed by a simple, “So, what?”
I had fallen asleep as a passenger in a car full of college students headed home for Christmas, and I awoke as a patient in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona. I was alone, trying to piece together what had happened.
A nurse brought me a newspaper clipping telling of the accident. Tim, my college roommate and childhood friend, was dead. There I was, halfway between college and home, alone in a sterile, pale green hospital bed connected to an IV, and my buddy was dead.
This was not going to be a good Christmas.
We were just outside Wickenburg, Arizona; Tim had avoided the head on collision, but at 70 mph, he lost control of the car and without any special effects we did a couple end-over-end’s into the desert, landing 50 yards from the road–lot’s of dust and dirt, but no explosion. He was killed instantly. I was thrown clear.
The truck driver who stopped to help said Tim avoided a head-on collision and saved our lives. If I close my eyes, I can still see Tim’s face. I can still hear his last words just before I fell asleep, “This is going to be the best Christmas ever. I can’t wait!”
I had been thrown out of the car upon initial impact. Still conscious, I got up, bloody and in shock, trying to help my friends. I ended up with no broken bones, no head injuries or internal injuries. Bruises and lacerations, yes, fifty-eight stitches in my face and black and blue spots as big as Road Island.
Three days later, sore and bandaged, but alive, I sat in Tim’s funeral service. Hundreds of teenagers from all over northern California were there. Tim had an appetite for life that touched everyone he met, in many ways he was contagious, his faith was innocent, but strong; his attitude and sense of humor were unforgettable. Tim just knew how to rub-off on you, and in the end you were a better person for being around him.
That tragic week, just before Christmas 1966, changed my life forever. Tim’s death got me thinking seriously about life and the future. Looking back, I realize that tragic moment became my initiation into adulthood. Somewhere during those string-of-days, I accepted responsibility for my own faith and cast my lot in service to the King.
From that point on, my faith ceased to be something I inherited from my parent’s, a teacher, or a camp counselor; it was mine, totally mine. I still need ”faith rubbings.” I need connections with people who rub off on me, but for better or worse, my faith is no longer dependent on those rubbings. God has taken me deeper.
Now, I have a faith I can rub on others.
Accept the challenge. Begin your Faith Journal and I promise, you will experience more of life on all levels. Your Faith Journal will energize you, surprise you, and bless you. And, there is a serendipitous gift waiting in the wings. You will discover that writing about your faith is humbling and confessional and redemptive.
You will find that God meets you on the pages of your story. There He gives you fresh insight, new wisdom, and the courage to write the next chapter. And, in the process you will find depth and understanding. Write!