The mechanic who handed me back the keys to my truck the other day gave me much more than a smooth running vehicle. He also gave me a powerful reminder of something I sometimes take for granted.
It’s the power of not only keeping a spiritual journal, but of revisiting it…often.
My friend the mechanic said, “Scott, years ago you mentioned how you not only keep a spiritual journal, but that you re-read previous entries. I’ve started doing this, and the difference it has made in my life is incredible.”
This exchange reminded me again just how powerful this practice has been in my own life. The practice is really very simple. I take time most (not all) mornings to jot down my reflections as to what God is doing in my life. Sometimes I write out my prayers, and other times I’ll just vent on paper.
I started this in the mid-‘90s, and have kept it going almost every day ever since.
But the power, I discovered, was when I got in the habit of re-reading entries from the past. The rhythm I’ve gotten into is to read what I journaled on this day ten, five, one year previous. What this has done for me is to:
- Remind me of God’s faithfulness: There’s nothing like being reminded about something you were praying about in the past, and then remembering how God answered that prayer.
- Give me boldness in my prayer life: Anytime I see God’s faithfulness in print (in my own handwriting) it tends to “up the voltage” in how I pray today.
- Start my day with a renewed sense of gratitude: When you have a daily dose of remembering God’s goodness it changes your outlook.
If you’re looking for renewed spiritual vitality in 2010, give it a try… and stick with it. I’m confident you’ll find the results worth the brief investment of time.
What spiritual practices have been most powerful in your life?