I don’t usually do Lent but this year I thought I’d give it a shot. Instead of giving something up I decided to try getting back in the habit of journaling for forty days. I haven’t hit my goal every day but it’s helped some.
I wanted to start writing—my own thoughts to my own brain—just to take a look under the hood, with a purpose. I watched a TED Talk today about the importance of stepping back and observing thoughts and feelings as they float by. The speaker submitted that 47% of our time is spent lost in thought. That’s almost half a life oblivious to my own thoughts. That means I’m only really aware of half of what’s going on around me, the other half I’m chasing a worry, a daydream, a regret, a memory.
So I wanted to put pen to paper and get tangible with what I’m really thinking; feeling.
I’d like to say the first few days were super great and a total breakthrough. Really, I just ended up whining about some stuff. A few more days went by, more of the same. But I was beginning to find my voice again. My voice to myself.
Then one day, as I was whining, I ended up sending the whine up to God. I realized that there was nothing I could really do about what I was complaining about and needed help. I needed to send it out.
Now, I realize that this isn’t a great formula for prayer, so I wouldn’t much recommend it. I do know, however, that my path to self-awareness often leads to helplessness. And that this helplessness, that of a child, leads me into prayer.
Luke 5:15-16 – “But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”
Before things got busy, before he could even sense helplessness, before the next gig, seminar, sermon, meeting, meal—Jesus, the Son of God, took time to withdraw and pray.
I’m still working this habit out in my life. Please pray for me.