Is Your Life Worth Examining?

 It was Socrates who is credited with stating “the unexamined life is not worth living.” While I think it is a bit of an overstatement (and a few other philosophers appear to agree such as Epicurius), it is, at least, true to an extent. There is not doubt that in looking back in history, we benefit from the knowledge and experiences of many who journaled and reflected on their lives.

For me, Benjamin Franklin and the Rev. John Wesley come readily to mind. One, a giant of the American Revolution, and the other, a giant of Christian revival. Their journals reflect individuals of deep thought who understood, at least for themselves, the need to reflect and consider their actions and events of their day and time.

What does this mean for us? There is no Biblical command for people to journal. That we are aware, Jesus did not maintain a journal. Much of what makes up the stories of the Bible are passed down from oral tradition of the Ancient Near East. What is written, could hardly be classified as a journal.

So why journal?

More than a mere diary, journaling is a time of reflection and examination if you will. It is not a practice that everyone finds beneficial. For me, I have journaled off and on throughout my life. I have kept most of my journaling through the years and from time to time, I go back and reflect upon what has happened in my life. My journal offers a snapshot of how I have grown in my faith as well as how I have grown as a person.  I still have my first journals that even date the Upper Room Devotional books I used.

As a spiritual practice, it is hard to miss the value and how journaling has shaped so many.  As we turn the page of August to September, I challenge you to consider trying out journaling as a spiritual practice. It could be a notebook or in your day planner. Take note of where you think you see God as you read and reflect on the course of events in your day.

You can use John Wesley's Three Rules as a guide even:

When did I do harm?
When did I do good?
Have I stayed in love with God?

Then use who/what/when/where/how/why as a guide to expand upon each one as appropriate.

It may not change THE world but it just might change YOUR world.

-Jedi Pastor Ken


Hey Judy Arts said...

Totally agree. Being honest with oneself is hard but writing it down, scribbling, going fast, not thinking just writing is a healing therapy.

Thank you Jedi Pastor.

I need to get my 1$ composition notebooks out again. Yup. Those old black and white bound notebooks are my favorite. I have a library of them, complete with squiggles, doodles, heartfelt moments and tears.

Ken Hagler, Your Alaskan Realtor said...

Haha!! Thanks Judy! Yes, those are great notebooks! I am working on series of journals to come out soon. Trying to think about a Star Wars theme without dealing with copywrite issues.

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