People that keep a journal, write in their journals at different times of the day, for different reasons. Some write first thing in the morning. Their minds are fresh and alert. They are alert after a good night’s sleep. It’s a great way to review the opportunities, meetings, events or challenges of the previous day. Some people that I know write in their journal in the evening to process and put away the day before sleeping. Perhaps you will keep your journal close and write in it all day long. Either way your journal will help you make sense or process the daily events in your life. You begin to recognize the significant events of live and live responsively rather than reactively.
Think of how much happens in your life every day. Your journal helps you develop self leadership and live with mission, vision and values. There are feelings, meetings, thoughts, actions, decisions and ideas that happen to us every day. Our journals help us to recognize that.
For instance, I saw several friends in the grocery store last night. As I thought about my brief encounters several memories came to mind, feelings and then the observation of what these chance encounters might have had on those who paid attention. There were affirmations, hugs, and conversations about children, housing, education, dreams, the storm, and questions. In that one visit, I had several conversations with people that call me Pastor, with neighbors, with employees and acquaintances in the community. If I only kept a diary (a record of the day’s events), I might write I saw Paul tonight. In a journal I remember the encounter and was it uncomfortable or relaxed. Why? I pray if it was uncomfortable. Since I’ve asked God, I listen. Maybe a thought surfaces in my mind or a passage of Scripture from Proverbs or Psalms comes to mind and I write it down.
You build or repair your relationships upon those kinds of reflections. You live responsively! You live spiritually! You live prayerfully! You learn to connect life events with the Scriptures and other literature. You also become someone who can help others navigate life.
As you journal think of the temptations you encountered, decisions you made or thoughts you had. You don’t have to remember everything. As you develop this discipline you become adept at recognizing those moments as they happen throughout your day. I can’t overemphasize how important this is. We are bombarded with thousands of messages a day! That is not an exaggeration. Text messages, the internet, email, television, radio, billboards! Wow I’m experiencing overload thinking about it. A journal helps you to have control over your thoughts and decisions living in a 24 hour breaking news that matters to you world!
So grab your pencil and journal or use your word processor on your computer and seize the day and its memories.
Peace and Joy!