To journal or not to journal

Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

I am not a 'journal person' - I don't keep a diary of the daily events and happenings in life. In fact, I tried it for a couple of months to see if I could keep track of what I was doing and other stuff like the things that were happening in my ministry. It got to the place I was repeating myself, so I quit. As much as I thought this 'diary' thing was a 'big deal' for believers to 'keep track' of God's blessings, it wasn't all that 'big of a deal'. It was shortly after that failed attempt at keeping a diary that I realized God wanted me to simply spend time with him, writing down the stuff he told me in those times, beginning to really digest the scriptures for myself. When I began to record what God was sharing from his Word and my time pondering it, I found that much less cumbersome. In fact, I actually saw 'lessons' being recorded - sometimes in a rather 'repetitive' manner. Why the repeat? I didn't quite learn everything the first time I pondered the lesson!

We don't always have a 'new insight' every time we ponder a particular passage, but it is very possible God will reopen those words to you as he has before, maybe adding just a little more insight now that you didn't consider before. I think this is what John meant when he said 'all the books that could be written' would not contain all that Jesus does or shows us in our lifetime. I have gone back through some of those journals on occasion, only to find that the 'lesson' from several years back was kind of rudimentary or even 'shallow'. That is when the growth in my life begins to be apparent to me. Maybe there is something to be said for keeping a journal, but not so much for the 'today I did this or that' kind of stuff. Maybe the journal we should keep is the one that helps us to realize God is at work helping us to become stronger, capable of standing in the face of trials, and less susceptible to similar temptations.

About six months ago I did a thing where I looked into those journals and then after perusing them a bit, I actually destroyed them. Why? It was 'old stuff' now. I actually saw evidence of growth today that wasn't there then. I didn't see the need to keep the 'old stuff' around any longer - I had moved on. Maybe there will come a time when you look back, knowing you dealt with some pretty important stuff with God, and come to a similar revelation - you have moved on, grown up, dug in a little deeper, and are now standing stronger than ever before. Do you need the reminder that life is never supposed to be 'stagnant' or 'fixed'? Maybe that is what the journals actually showed us - we have been experiencing God's incremental growth without even realizing it. Just sayin!


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