For a year now I have carried a small journal in my right hip pocket. I use it to jot down thoughts and spiritual meanderings that cross my mind throughout the day. Of course the most fertile time is in the morning when I am reading the Word and “pondering” the truths I never suspected until revealed by the Father through His Holy Spirit.
I am surprised when I review the truths that shook me just weeks before. Often I no longer see them as earth shattering. Once I questioned whether I was becoming insensitive to the Father. Was I requiring Him to “top” what happened in my time with Him just the day before? Had I become a “Spiritual junkie,” always looking for that next undiscovered nugget so I could trot it out when I wanted to prove to others how blessed they were to have me in their circle.
Gee, those folks make me tired. Had I become no better that the ones that pestered me?
It seems the Word often takes us down familiar roads, pointing out new landmarks. How many times had Jesus walked past Solomon’s porch, never stopping to heal the man waiting for “the Angel to trouble the water?” And why, this day above all others, had He stopped and set this man free from his bondage.
There are theological reasons taught by those who spent years learning Greek just so they could figure out the “why’s and wherefores” on issues like that.
After having my waters troubled for some time, and no one showing up that could put me into the middle of the question so that I could “reason” it out, the Holy Spirit assured me I was not becoming stale. He gave me to understood that any insight sent me through the Word was because it was needed for whatever part of my journey I found myself walking.
I have often taken out old maps just to see where I have been. I enjoyed the memories of acres of Texas Blue Bonnets, the pounding surf, or beauty of a prong-horned antelope bounding across the Texas prairie. But though the memories of that moment were sharp and able to take me back to days gone by, I didn’t quite feel it the same way.
It is like my memories of Jim Fowler taking me on my first legal quail hunt (There’s story best forgotten!). The dogs had gone past a couple of quail in the brush. As I walked up to the clump of weeds, my focused attention on the dogs was shattered by those birds exploding from the ground almost between my feet. I promptly discharged both shotgun shells into the ground.
Memories are for remembering. They are best sampled along with a healthy dose of today. They define where we have been, but they are intended to push us into tomorrow.
I am glad to have these hip-books. They remind me that the Father is always at work around me and is inviting me to not be a spectator, but a willing, energetic, and fully engaged participant.