I know a lot of people who think journaling is important in living a meaningful life. I, however, am not one of them. The following is a re:view of my previously-written thoughts on journaling.
I have never been a journal keeper. And yet over the years, I’ve collected several nice journals as gifts, or from spiritual retreats. I love them. I love to write, and I like the smooth feel of all those lovely empty pages waiting to be filled.
They’re still waiting. Because I just don’t get it. Writing every day about me – my day, my “high” or “low” – who cares? My brain is constantly processing every minute of the day and I just don’t see a reason to document any of that. Frankly, I’m just not that interested.
Lots of my friends write in journals. They explain to me the benefits, the incredible insights and answers from God they have tracked over the years, the growth they see documented. It sounds wonderful. But… where do you store all those accumulating volumes? And what happens if you get hit by a bus and your relatives end up having to sort through and dispose of all your things? Um… no thank you. There are some secrets I’m taking with me to the grave, and everyone should just be happy about it.
I’ve attempted writing in journals several times. Usually with the intention of connecting with God, or remembering answers to prayer. I discovered I mostly wrote when I was upset, or things were going badly. Then things would turn around, and I’d neglect writing. And I’d tear out the pages I’d written and throw them away. I’m apparently less introspective when life is going well. Live and learn and move on.
My favorite situation is at church, or a spiritual retreat, when you’re given a limited amount of time – usually around 10 minutes – to “listen to what God has to say to you.” Then you’re supposed to write his message in your journal. I have to be honest – this never works for me. I suspect God knows this about me: if I could assign him any 10 minutes of my day in which to speak, I would constantly “manage” him that way. But He insists on being wild and unpredictable, often silent on demand, and frequently whispering when I’m merely available.
Anyway, technically blogging counts as journaling.