You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?
~Morpheus in The Matrix
Year after year, there is page after page of thoughts, ideas, revelations. Many are tear-stained, some coffee stained, and some have sketches of castles or ivy or whatever flows from the pen. If laughter could be left on paper, there’s some that are joy-marked, too.
The baskets of journals around my desk are my life written down, my attempt at describing how I learn to live, who God is and how to walk with Him. My feelings about events and what they taught me. Some pages were written with a little wine on board and are too honest for anyone but me.
They aren’t for publication or even sharing, but many times I look back. I look back to see what God said to me before. It seems to keep my feet going in the right direction. We tend to stray, following our gaze, and sometimes to our demise we find ourselves in a proverbial ditch. I have learned much looking up from such places.
Other times, I have followed more closely, careful to submit as much of my soul as possible to the Lordship of Christ. Whether I find myself in the valley or on the desired mountain top, each time I realize that I didn’t make it to either place on my own. And whether it’s the ditch or the end of a long journey, there is a Shepherd who guides me.
The pages connected by lines of ink are written “to expose the unexposed.” The words enable me to open doors, discover more honesty, to realize more of my own voice for the truth wants to be expressed…I need to let it become words. Maybe what I have written, the truest words, will help others along their way, like an unexpected lighthouse that shows the way forward, exposing dangerous rocks and shining on the smooth path like full moon.
This year has been very different. I’ve not journaled as much as other years, my words spilling here instead in sporadic fashion, a tumbling out that has felt haphazard at best. And yet some of this writing has surprised me. My heart has been touched this year, opened, uncovered, and left vulnerable to more love than I can remember experiencing. I’ve lived something like a storybook with chapters that moved me from where I was to where I am going, destination still unknown to a large degree, but significant turns made along the way for fuller life.
This year seems to have held more choices…or is it that I am learning to make more choices? Cliche` but I still find it hard to believe that I am composing this summary on the 31st of December when my mind says it feels like August at the latest. The days fly off like pages out of the journal and if I don’t write down the significant moments, will I remember?
Are they meant to last – even if they fly away like birds before their migration time? It’s like snapping photographs to capture a moment. We think we can hold it again. And we can look and remember, cherish what was and be ready to capture the next milestone. The mind stores these days away on its hard drive and some files seem to get themselves lost, fragmented, but if written down, then they are kept for future access. One has but to pick up the journal, find the page, and be thankful for what was given, realized, lived.
I’ve counted gifts this year in a separate gifts journal. I have been doubly blessed by reviewing that list regularly because it is composed of moments where God revealed Himself in the crunch of leaves underfoot in fall or the bread-smell of a granddaughter when she first wakes up and comes to cuddle. These moments were captured in written pictures and I feel Him closer when I read them again, realizing that everything I experience is because He created it and said it was good.
You and I and all other earth inhabitants will change calendars tonight at midnight as we step into 2013. We can glance back, but then refocus the eyes forward. Take steps for the best of our lives – look for resources and connections to be brought before us. Choices need to be considered with God always being part of the equation. Without His involvement, we are living in negative numbers. I’m not much of a number cruncher, but I know I just feel better when I remember that He is for me and standing ready to help. “He is not far from any one of us.” (Acts 17:27) Let yourself dream about what you’ve always wanted to do, what you feel you were created to be. When you know, start with the first step. If you don’t know yet, you will, for your role is vital and you are here “for such a time as this.”
Miles and years of ink are only good if they give testimony to real life lived out. Fantasy, day dreams aren’t enough. Planning, blue prints, outlines are nothing if the steps are never taken to complete the work, to finish the dream, to understand your significance.
Don’t make the mistake of allowing the Western mindset to decide if you are successful or not in any year. Small is not small in Heaven’s eyes. Remember what Jesus can do with a bag lunch. The Creator of Time blessed time. So no matter what the days of 2013 hold, remember that He is allowing you to choose how you will live them out.
What does your heart want? What can you do to bring good for others? Go for it, and record your journey, for Heaven is ready to help with love enough. And a year from today we can celebrate what has been recorded, knowing God celebrates, too, for “He is not far from any one of us.” (Acts 17:27)