Lost Art of Reflection
Journaling = connecting and listening to your inner life.
In this busy world, who has time to sit down and reflect on life? Most people don’t. We obsess about things (now we were treated, worrying about the future, children, marriages, work and so on) as we busily try to get through the day, but that isn’t reflection. That obsessive mind talk is our soul creating mayhem because we haven’t given it time to truly process what is going on.
This world has moved far from God’s truth. With our self-wills running wild without the truth to guide us, we are creating all kinds of evil, madness, and out of control behaviors. And one is a busyness and lifestyle so consuming that we have no time to engage in the art of reflection; an art that brings harmony, centeredness, and truth to our lives. A life of reflection is a vital aspect of spiritual health.
The art of reflection is taking time to journal. Why journal? Because for most of us when we think without the guidance and focus of a pen or a keyboard our minds wander so that we can’t complete the thought we started with. Writing guides and grounds our thoughts. It puts a thought in a form we can grab a hold of and contemplate. Without the pen, we end up with a mind swarming with broken and uncompleted thoughts. Journaling allows a thorough reflection of what’s going on in our spirits and how the outside world, circumstances and people are affecting us and how we are affecting others. It allows us to process what is going on, to reflect and mediate on it. We start to see ourselves, others and situations from a clearer perspective – and when we dwell in the presence of God we see more inline with the truth. For Christians the act of reflection is extremely powerful because it isn’t just us trying to work out what is happening in our inner world, but we have the spirit of truth, the spirit of God, searching our depths and giving us the ability to see the truth.
In his book, “Ordering your Private world”, Gordon MacDonald realized how journaling helped him to come “to grips with an enormous part of his inner person that he had never been fully honest about.” I found this very true in my own life. There have been numerous times when I have sat down to write in my journal that I gained tremendous insights into myself and my situations. I thought an issue was about one thing and it ended up being about something else. Sometimes it amazes me what is truly going on in my soul, and I often wonder where I would be if I hadn’t taken the time to stop and reflect. I would probably still be trapped in my old ways of thinking and acting in a stupor and that means doing things I wish I hadn’t and creating a life I didn’t want. Once aware of the truth then we can act and respond in a way that fosters truth and life and not lies and death.
Journaling within the presence of God brings truth and thus freedom and true life to our lives. It is a time of quiet and focus which allows us to hear not only ourselves but the spirit of God dwelling in us shedding light, wisdom and truth into our souls.
If you don’t journal or haven’t in a long time, now is the time to start.
May 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm
The good thing about journaling is that you can stay focused as you write. You can pray and yet have other thoughts interrupt. When you write, you are using your thoughts for the words and your brain to tell your hand to write. Much easier to focus and then to re-read the thoughts that you just penned.
May 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm
May 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm
God created for men a huge planet on which to live. It is estimated that the surface area of Earth is approximately 196,935,000 square miles. Even though about 70% of this is ocean, that still leaves approximately 57,500,000 square miles of dry land. However, from man’s perspective, the available space can seem like it is filling up rapidly.
Have you ever been in a public place, and suddenly felt as if you needed a few minutes alone? Good luck. It won’t be long before some do-gooder spots you in quiet contemplation, and seizes the opportunity to swoop down upon your solitude. “What’s wrong?” “Why so quiet?” “What are you thinking about?” “You look like you aren’t feeling good.” These are likely to be some of the well-meaning, albeit intrusive, comments you’ll get.
The famous British preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, once said, “We all live too much in company; and in a great city like this, we are busy from morning to night, and we do not get the opportunities for quiet reflection which our forefathers were wont to take. I am afraid, therefore, that our religion is likely to become very superficial and flimsy for the want of solitary, earnest thought.”
When a person realizes – even in a public place – that he is bearing sin which is keeping him from a right relationship with God, it is good for him to sit and be silent. “He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.” (Lamentations 3:28) When a person is silent and solitary, he will begin to look outside of himself and outside of others for hope. “He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.” (Lamentations 3:29) And then and there he may find the blessed Hope, Christ Jesus (I Timothy 1:1), Who is more sure and more secure than the platitudes of men.
December 8, 2011 at 10:45 am
Hey Rachel, at a point in life, a doctor said I should do this very thing to help me in being compatable with life. The fact that I have always known there is a higher power than man combined with an oath to defend this country against foriegn &demestic enemies, Yet, all is being torn apart by the stupidity of those I am to protect! GOD’S word says this very thing was going to happen &HIS word will be fulfilled! Now I glory in each day, simply because HE IS!!! does this make sence to you?
December 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm
Hi Eldon, we fight against flesh and blood. The majority of children of God are under the sway of the wicked one .. most do what they do because they are consumed by the lies and deception. If they had truth they would act different. May we be beacons of light into the darkness.