I’m sitting in a lecture hall, listening to a seminary professor teach on the book of Romans. I bring a journal with me (the one the Italian Mama gave me before I left for Colorado). I reserve this journal’s pages for the most special things–ideas worth keeping–so I can remember my summer experiences.
I think I might record two, maybe three, pearls of wisdom.
I fill eight pages.
I go through the ink of two pens.
It’s because it occurs to me once again that this whole life of faith is miraculous. I’m listening to supernatural, impossibly beautiful things here. Apart from God, I have no choice but to embrace a self-centered existence, doomed to conflict and despair. If I did as I pleased, I would have probably destroyed myself long ago. But when I surrendered at last and bended my will, I found the kind of freedom that doesn’t make sense. It is a miracle how God interacts with us. I can’t figure it out.
Living with flair means I fill journal after journal with wisdom that never gets old. The miracle is new every morning.
Journal: What’s the last bit of wisdom you wrote down?
I stay home from church today and cough my way through the morning. But I want to create my own Sabbath worship–to start the week fresh in peace–especially with so much to do to prepare for Christmas.
I light candles and gather my Bible and a curious old journal that my students presented me on the last day of class.
It’s an ancient journal, fresh out of Camelot or Narnia or Hogwarts. The grainy pages connect with wisps of leather; the secrets within stay secure with a clasp.
I will record wise things here. I will document revelations and promises–the whispers of God into my heart. I will take His Hand and follow ancient paths that lead me to truth.
As I unclasp my journal, I’m reminded of the words of that moody and artsy prophet Jeremiah. He tells me:
This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
I open my journal and ask for the ancient paths. And then I know. I recall his name: The Ancient of Days, God, the one who comes from the ancient into the modern, the one who descends down into a manger.
That’s Christmas–the ancient path that leads from Bethlehem into my heart.