September 15, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines V: Journaling

I Live My Life Full Tilt, When Do I Make Time to Reflect?

Anyone that knows me knows that I author the blog SoulJournaler and post to it nearly every day regardless of my schedule. I have very much made it a discipline in my life. The only thing in two years that inhibited this is my father’s death. I will not elaborate extensively on this since I have nearly 750 posts from the last two years that stand as a testament to my adherence to this discipline and are pretty much acting as an online journal for me here.

Writing Helps Me Focus and Think

I think more clearly and more articulately when I write. Organizing thought is vastly easier in black and white. I can also edit and proof read what I want to say before posting my thoughts. This cannot be done when verbalizing. Once spoken, things or thought are out “there” forever to come back to haunt you. To some extent this is also true of the Internet as a journaling medium. At least if I have not yet posted it to cyberspace…I can still retract something that hasn’t been published. Sometimes even when you say something exactly the way you mean it, it is taken wrong. There are multiple steps to communicating properly and getting ideas across clearly. No matter how hard you try it is not always easy because there is what the sender intended in the message itself and then there is the way the reciever or hearer hears it. Sometimes the way it leaves someone's mouth and hits someone's ear is not the same because of presuppositions or psychological preconditioning.

If I Did Not Have Writing to Expound On Ideas...

Fortunately or unfortunately, writing is my primary outlet for communicating my experiences. A close second sort of falls out from my writing and that is speaking or preaching. If I did not have these tools to help reflect I would most likely resort to prayer and fellowship and discussion with fellow Christians in koinonia/ κοινωνία which I believe might have been one of the original intents for it in an aural/oral society that was predominately illiterate. To pass on the experience verbally so other could know your thoughts or possibly relate to you.

How Do I Feel Reading Other's Writing

The positive aspect of reading others work is realizing and absorbing the diversity of the Body of Christ.

The negative aspect is…quite frankly, a lot of what others write is often irrelevant to me or my life or is it boring. Not all of us have the same tastes, likes and dislikes. That’s the beauty of the Body, we are all different but unified in Christ.

I Expect Folks to Read What I Have Written

As I have stated previously, I pretty much have a journal online. I expect people to read it. I have nothing to hide. My life is an open book and I wear my heart on my sleeve…for good or for bad. In the end I will see the measure and practicality of having been so open with strangers… and enemies.

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