Relate: Ben Franklin had one. Thomas Jefferson did it. So did Christopher Columbus. Among many political greats, we could name the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, American Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan as well as the greatest UN Secretary General ever: Dag Hammarskjöld. Since I am making a list, I might as well throw in some theological giants like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Wesley, and Søren Kierkegaard. I could go on and on building this list with famous and successful people. My guess would be that at least half of the greatest and most successful individuals of pretty much any field keep one of some sorts or another. That said, probably the most famous journal of all time belongs to a young girl who is only famous because of it. Of course, that would be the Diary of Anne Frank.
React: I could talk about some of the many reasons why it is important to keep a journal. I could show how it is a great emotional vent and that it significantly reduces the odds of getting stress related illnesses. I could talk about how it improves your organizational and relational skills. I could show how it improves both short term and long term memory. I could talk about how it helps maintain a better focus and purpose in your life. Actually, with that last one I will now stop. That is exactly what Paul is commanding Timothy to do. Keep close watch on your lifestyle and teaching. Stay true to what is right. Keeping a journal is the best and most efficient way for us to be obedient to that command.
What are some of the meaningful conversations you had yesterday? What did you do right? What did you do wrong? How has the way you are thinking and acting and speaking changed over the course of the past year? How are you moving forward in the long term goals in your life? Not only does keeping a journal help you ask and answer questions like these, but it is also a great way to see how those answers have changed over time. It helps you step back and listen (then record) what God might be saying to you regarding your faith and conduct. A lot of emphasis has been put on the importance of having a mentor (or life coach) in the past few years and I think it is important to have one, but keeping a journal is like having yourself as a mentor. When done faithfully, there is more frequency and far more honesty in the discussion we have with ourselves than a once a week/month coaching session.
Instead of me closing in prayer as I normally do, why not grab a pen and paper and write out your own prayer to the Father today?