There was a time when I journaled nearly everyday, or at least several times a week. I documented happenings, events, prayers, lessons, my thoughts and feelings. I poured out my heart to pages untold, line after line, page after page, year after year. For the better part of 12-14 years this was a regular part of my life.
I haven't kept a regular journal in several years. Mostly because there were parts I simply didn't want to document, stories I didn't want to tell, feelings I couldn't even describe, life happening that I hoped I wouldn't have to remember.
I was browsing through the store and saw this beautiful journal, monogrammed with a "W," and it seemed to be exactly my style. So I claimed it as my own. It was only January 2. Even the cashier who rang up my journal wished me a "Happy New Year" so I figured it wasn't too late to begin anew, journaling and documenting 2014.
I love a fresh start. A new beginning. A new year seems the perfect time for that. 365 unaccounted for days that I have to choose how to live to their fullest. But there's a problem with my new journal. It's blank. I love the fresh, blank pages beckoning for my signature purple gel ink to inscribe upon them stories, verses, memories...my life.
But here it stands January 10th and my journal remains blank. Completely unused. Incomplete to say the least.
Truthfully, I haven't been able to decide its purpose. Now before you go making fun of me, I know its purpose is to be written in. But I didn't know what I wanted to write.
I determined it wasn't to be my daily happenings, thoughts and feelings. I pondered a new note-taking journal for church but the one I have is less than half full with plenty of pages and plenty of life left for sermon and bible study notes.
I thought about a prayer journal and seemed settled this was the most appropriate use. I hope to include scriptures I'm reading or studying and their meaning. Maybe a synopsis of what God is teaching me through prayer and scripture. I assumed it would also be alright to note any challenges or spiritual disciplines, especially as I'm making time to read and study more - at least that's my hope and prayer.
And all of that would be good-intentions fulfilled if, in fact, they were being fulfilled. But so far, they're nothing more than nice thoughts waiting to become a reality.
My beautiful, personalized journal is worth nothing until I assign its purpose and to do so I must invest the time, energy and ink into using it for the purpose it was created - to be a journal.
Sitting around, looking pretty, collecting dust, isn't serving me any purpose whatsoever. It does no one any good not being used. Rendered useless its very existence seems futile.
I must give my journal life and meaning by using it for what it was created to be and do. Just like God gives each of us purpose to live and be. We're not just here sucking air, standing around being human (well, maybe some of us are but we'll not get into that right now). No. We are here because God has a unique and individual plan and purpose for us. Thankfully, unlike me and my procrastination with my journal, He does not hesitate in giving our lives meaning. He does not sit idly by wondering what it is He can do with us. In fact, most of the time it is us who stand around aimlessly, breathing in and breathing out, wondering what we're supposed to be doing.
If my journal were personified it would know it is meant to be written in. Its pages to be filled with the stories i write. And if I would but open the cover and allow God to write upon the pages of my life, I would see the poetic story He has planned for me.
I like to think of each new year starting at my birthday. (It's only 39 days away for anyone who's counting. ;) It is the point at which I feel God purposed me into this world and it is the beginning of my "year" when I seek Him for what He wants me to do, focus on, think, be, become. I'm giving myself January and part of February as my "grace" period (no, I'm not just making up a fancy word for procrastinating). This is when I search His word, seek His face and trust His heart to lead me.
There's blank pages yet to be filled. There's stories yet to be written. Excuse me. I've got some writing to do!