Turning the Page
Updated: Oct 22, 2018
I am a big fan of journals. I like words. I like writing them on paper. I like seeing my own handwriting and feeling my pen touch the page. Often journaling helps me move into greater clarity and peace. I just started a new journal today and it caused me to realize that I have been journaling pretty consistently for ten years now. I started with a black hardcover journal my aunt Brenda gave me in July of 2008. We were camping in the Adirondack Mountains and as the trip neared its end she pulled me aside to give me a black journal with this inscription inside the front cover:
To Josiah Travis from Aunt Brenda
Use this sketchbook to record your joys and reflections of a land where memories meet the mountains. Thank you for loving my most spiritual space and allowing me to share it with you. Love Aunt Brenda.
I love the memory of receiving that journal. My Aunt did share her most spiritual space with me and ended up giving me a space—a journal—that has now become one of my own most spiritual spaces. On the first page of that first journal I wrote:
This is an Adventure Journal, and it is for this purpose it shall be used. Let this journal record the greatest adventure of all: the adventure of walking with God and growing to know Him more.
I like reflecting upon that entry today. It has been ten years and a few months since I wrote those words and I must say, it has been an adventure—full of joy, full of hardships, full of times where I felt close to God on this adventure, and full of other times where I felt lost and He felt distant. As I opened up a fresh new journal today I thought about the passing of time and the record of my journey with God, my own record of our secret history together.
This is what I wrote on the first pages of this new journal:
Another journal, another fresh start perhaps. Yet impressed upon my mind today is not the sense of starts and stops, beginnings and endings, but instead the steady and continual movement of God throughout my life. Imperceptible at times, often hidden behind clutter and overlooked because of haste, still God, your movement is there just the same. The steady “always working” of God is a reality of life.
I can often find myself in the trap of thinking that I am not where I should be or that I am not progressing in life as I should be. Yet this kind of thinking fails to see the “always working” of God in our lives. This “always working” is not hurried and it is not slack. It does not need to speed up or slow down. Neither is it constant and mechanized, predictable, and efficient. It is God on the move. And God, I sense you once again inviting me to see that you are always moving, and to join you in your moving.
Lord, what are you doing today? How are you working today in my life and in the lives of those around me? Give me eyes to see you—your glorious self—and your activity. Cause my heart to love and adore you. Help my heart to trust you. Teach me to walk beside you.
God, I can see the appearance of shifts in time and seasons, but you are ever working and with eyes to see we can be drawn into what you are doing. Give me grace today to lay aside my agenda so that I can enter into the “always working” of God.
Thanks for taking time to share in this spiritual space, my own pondering and reflecting on God's movement in my life. I pray that perhaps it awakens something in you today that causes you to reflect on how God might be at work in your own life. Perhaps take a moment to pray a simple prayer "God, are you there? In what ways have you been subtly at work in my life today? Give me eyes to see you today. Amen"