I love lots of things about the new year, but nothing as much as starting some new rhythm that I hope becomes a regular part of my life. This year I’ve spent the last month thinking about some changes I want to make and in addition to eating healthier (and less!), working out more regularly, and spending more time with my family, I’ve made my way back to a previous habit that I haven’t done for a few years — journaling.
It’s not that I don’t have a lot of journals either. I own at least fifteen really nice journals! The problem is that they are all empty and haven’t been used yet, ha ha!
But given that it’s the start of the year, I figure I mine as well start journaling again. Every time I’ve purchased a new journal, I’ve thought to myself that I really need to get back to writing (not typing!) my thoughts and feelings because I’m a bit worried that my handwriting is quickly becoming unreadable and, more importantly, I want to have a way to discern the state of my feelings and emotions.
Daily Spiritual Rhythms
My regular daily rhythms are pretty basic. I read Scripture from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) via my Logos Bible App. I also incorporate readings from the Celtic Daily Prayer Book (as well as Book 2), Tozer on the Holy Spirit, and My Utmost for His Highest. I really love the BCP because I love reading passages of Scripture that millions of other Christians are also reading and it’s remarkable how timely those readings are. If you need a good Bible reading plan, look no further than this Anglican treasure!
Additionally I pray the Lord’s Prayer as a guide that springs into what some would describe as “my own words” and “spontaneous” expressions of gratitude and request. I’ve also found my friend Jack Levison’s Holy Spirit, I Pray super helpful, pneumatologically quite rich, and super easy to incorporate into my prayer life.
At the end of the day, I finish reading the evening Psalm from the BCP and will be, starting tonight, journaling. I’ve decided that my journaling will include random aspects of my day as well as spring from the Daily Examen, which I’ve been doing for the past seven years.
There are obviously a bunch of other rhythms you can include in order to grow your faith in and relationship with Jesus. And these are certainly not the only spiritual practices that I think or formative, valuable, and essential to discipleship (e.g., regular Eucharist celebration, gathering in the local church, etc.). But these practices have proven very helpful in the past and I think journaling will continue to help me stay attentive to where my faith and emotions are at, which seems especially important in the days we currently live in.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.