In one of my classes that just finished up, we had one journal entry due each week, based on the topic given by our teacher. Now, this whole “required journaling” thing strikes me as odd. Requiring someone to reflect on their lives in one particular manner neglects the myriad of ways that people are already doing this. I can almost guarantee that people do some sort of reflection, whether through conversation (a big one), a diary, a blog, just thinking to themselves, and many others. At the same time, I have grown to see the value in being intentional and faithful about writing one’s reflections and exploring faith, life, and whatnot through words and pictures. And then coming back to it. I’m reminded of the end of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18: “So long lives this [writing], and this gives life to thee.” Ideas have a life of their own, but this life is oh-so-short if we don’t write them down. People are, after all, quite forgetful. Even me. Especially me (just ask my wife). Getting into the habit of doing a double-entry meta-reflective journal-extraordinaire (the last compound word is my doing) is a truly valuable skill for anyone, but especially someone who is to be a future leader in the church, and is seeking to more fully join in the missio Dei.

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