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.