Yesterday, the kids and I were in the car headed to school and on display through the windshield was a spectacular sunrise. We all were excitedly talking about how colorful and unique it was. It was fun to hear the kids each describe what they thought it looked like. Our oldest said it looked like seeing the sunlight from under the ocean. Another said it looked like a scene from the Toy Story movie. One of the kids said that it looked like the sky was colored with crayons. Then after a pause, Hannah, our middle child, said, “Dad, this is a God moment!” The other kids said, “yeah!” Then Hannah said, “I am writing this down in my journal!”
What a cool moment. Hannah had it right! It was a moment where we saw a glimpse of the extraordinary creative work of God. It was a moment where everyone in the car sensed the presence of God and knew that something that beautiful must have originated as a gift from our Father in heaven.
At Community Church, for the last couple of weeks we have been talking about practicing the spiritual discipline of journaling. We are following the Daily Compass which prompts us to explore four directions everyday. I developed this simple method in an effort to better follow Jesus as well help my daughter learn the discipline of spiritual journalling.
Here’s what I do. I simple write down four arrows.
- First, I write the up arrow. Then I write down a Simple Prayer thanking God for who He is, telling Him about my day and asking Him to help me follow Jesus that day.
- Second, I write the down arrow. Here I write down a Faith Lesson that I have learned that day that has helped me live out my faith. Maybe its a scripture or something someone said or a lesson learned from an experience during the day.
- Third, I write the back arrow. This direction focuses my attention on God Moments that have happened in the last day. These are moments where God’s love, truth or presence was made known to me–like a beautiful sunrise.
- Fourth, I write the forward arrow. This is for my Action Step. As I have been listening to God throughout the day, what action should I take tomorrow to keep following Jesus. Maybe this relates to an attitude, a way to reach out, a commitment to fulfill or a temptation to avoid.
Some days this takes me 5 minutes other times it takes me more like 15, but it helps me navigate my life as a follower of Jesus. And the result I have experienced, as have thousands of others through the last 20 centuries, is that you start seeing God everyday. You see him working in your life. More Follow Journals will be available this Sunday.
Here are a few more thoughts on journaling.
One person wrote,
Pausing…to jot down our thoughts has a way of quieting and uncluttering our overactive, decentered lives…to find [again] our lost center in Christ.
Another person wrote,
A journal helps you to see if you are still on the Way or sidetracked…in some pleasant spot that has you deceived.