Writing this blog has become one of my daily work habits. My original intention was to help my new congregation get to know me by telling some of the stories that have shaped my life, especially my faith life in Jesus Christ. Yet I also believe that the act of writing shapes my faith as well. Writing this blog has pushed me to express my faith in meaningful, concrete ways.
I have kept a journal since college, but it has always been a private thing. Sometimes it has been my Bible study and prayer journal. During the call process last summer, it was one way to reflect on whether or not to pursue the call to Resurrection. There have been long stretches where I did not journal much. Other times where it was a daily MUST-DO to stay sane and keep perspective.
In recent years, as I embraced running, my journal habit became my running log. There are several on-line programs where a runner/biker/walker/blader can log their daily miles and work-out notes. I became pretty meticulous in my record keeping, measuring my daily workouts to the nearest tenth of a mile and second. I could not go running without my heart-rate-monitor watch to record all the detail. After the summer and fall of 2005, when I trained and ran my best marathon, my log from that training period shaped all my future marathon training programs.
In a way this blog has taken on some of the characteristics of my journal and exercise log. Since I have embraced this practice, I want to grow in my ability as well as my faith. The one big difference is now I have a public audience (small but growing) that I seek to encourage, provoke, inform and challenge. The readers’ comment help shape this blog and in turn shape me. Thank you.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.
What habits shape your faith life?
I am responding to your “public audience” statement. For me, a blog is vastly different than a journal. A journal allows you to spew everything that is going on in your head and that can be very cathartic. Often it is helpful to just throw it away once done. However, a blog once written “stays” forever. It becomes a part of how people see you and how they tackle their own questions. It requires more introspection and a clarity to express one’s thoughts fully. I appreciate your blogs because they make me think deeper thoughts and try to push myself to come up with a response. While not a habit per se, engaging in conversations about faith or religion with those that are opposed or unknowing is what has helped shaped my faith the most. Like the difference between a private journal and a public blog, having to share why I think how I do about God and Jesus, helps to clarify my beliefs.
Susan, you provide a wise insight in that distinction. I continue to keep a journal where my more private thoughts, questions, wondering are kept. I am not one “to air my dirty laundry” in public. My journal is more raw and introspective than this blog and the only one to read is myself. As I write for this public blog, I am trying to keep my readers in mind, which is challenging. That is why comments like yours are so helpful. Thanks.