On the trail of life, I often think that it would be so much easier if I could see over the hill and around the bend into the future.
I would be able to make wise decisions 100% of the time!
I would be able to prepare for what is ahead!
I could make a boatload of money in the stock market!
If you are someone who enjoys committing God’s Word to memory, you have probably memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 at some point. It says:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
The underlying principle of these verses is that the future is impossible for us to know. We cannot, with any certainty, know much of what lies ahead. The most we can do is guess and plan.
So, we are instructed to trust in the One who does know the future. In fact, we are told to acknowledge Him (seek Him and develop an intimate knowledge of Him) and that He will remove some obstacles in our future and bring us to His desired goal for us.
So, as we make our way into the unknown future, trusting in the Lord, you need to know that your life is a story. You aren’t simply living one day after the other. Each day is woven together by the Master Author who is writing a story and you are the main character.
As my wife and I approach our 20 year wedding anniversary, I have been getting a little nostalgic and have spent some time documenting the story of our marriage. I have been able to do that because I have kept a journal, off and on, for quite some time. I’m able to look back over the days of our marriage and see the story that God has been writing. I’ve even been able to make sense of some things that did not make sense at the time.
I want to encourage you to capture your story, the one that God Himself is writing.
Let me give you a few helpful hints on how I do it:
1. When I first started, I used a spiral-bound notebook to capture my thoughts. Then, I moved to Microsoft OneNote so that I could have access on my laptop and mobile device. Finally, I moved everything to an app called Day One. I won’t go into all of the reasons I absolutely love this app for journaling but I can do that in a later post if needed.
2. I record the events of my day. I literally speak into my phone every time I do anything of significance.
For instance, I spoke into my phone a few minutes ago. It converted my speech to text. And it reads: “6:36 PM – work (Home)”
When I finish working this evening, I’ll add an end-time to “work” and then start “family time.” So, when I look back over my day or want to know what I did at a particular time a year ago, I can open my app and know exactly what I was doing, who I was with and where I was.
3. I will frequently add personal notes. If I am perplexed, or overjoyed, or reflective, or sad, … or whatever, I may open the app and just start talking. My speech is converted to text and will be there for me to review at a later time if I desire.
4. I like to add thoughts about what God has shown me in His Word. I include Bible verses or my understanding of a biblical principle in my daily journal entries. I have also written out many, many prayers in my journal.
5. I include pictures of my journey. I may include a picture of a beautiful wooded trail if I am taking a hike. I may take a picture of my family if we went out for an enjoyable meal. Many of these pictures are never intended for social media – they are solely for my personal journal.
There are so many more ways that you can enjoy journaling. But, the point is that you regularly document the story that God is writing in your life.
Trust God as you go into your future but record the story so that you can praise Him as you look into your past.
So, what are you waiting on? Start journaling today. Regarding what great things God has done (and will do) for you!