May 3, 2020
I'll keep this short and sweet, much unlike the lion's mane that has sprung from my hair roots since the shelter-in-place orders.
On Sundays, starting today, I plan on releasing a quick post of insight, wisdom, or major spiritual and self-improvement takeaways, in today's case, takeaways I've discovered in my daily “mini-journaling” during the entire week. I'm beginning to do this in hopes that you may find something inspirational, uplifting, or generally helpful for whatever circumstance you happen to be in.
Mini-journaling simply involves having a notebook or smartphone app handy (I simply use the “Notes” app on my iPhone) to jot down anything meaningful that leaps out to you during the day while walking, thinking, reading, meditating, writing, or praying. For me, this process of mini-journaling was inspired by The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook that my family and I are spending the year going through, chapter by chapter, each week. You can learn more about that book and my other spiritual disciplines and habits in the article “The Most Important Muscle You Own (& Exactly How To Train It).”
Now, let's cut straight to the chase. Here's what I discovered and found meaningful in my readings this week. Hopefully, you find a few of my choice books and lessons as thought-provoking or valuable as I did.
–Monday – A quick lesson on humbleness from the book “The Greatest Salesman In The World“: ￼”If I feel all-powerful, I will try to catch the wind.￼”
–Tuesday – A thought on life perspective from a John Piper Sermon Of The Day podcast: “Every sin flows from a failure to treasure the glory of God above all things￼.”
–Wednesday – From Psalm 71 in the Bible: “In you O Lord I put my trust; let me never be put to shame.￼” After reading this, I thought: trusting in God is never foolish. Ever.￼
–Thursday – From a John Piper essay written 34 years ago, about technology (still incredibly relevant): “If you were laid low with kidney failure this week and a congested heart, and were told by the doctor, “You have three days at the most unless we use extraordinary measures, and we don’t think that would be wise,” which would you prefer? Would you ask your family to sit by your bed and read the latest program developments of IBM or the Bible? What’s happened? What happens in those minutes after the doctor walks out of the room and leaves you with the imminence of your death? What happens to that gripping fascination of RAM, ROM, CPU, CP/M, PC DOS, multicolor monitors, Perfect Writer, and Profit Plan? What happens?
What happens is that here at the end of your journey through the valley of life, the haze of the computer craze just gets blown away. And all of a sudden you see, perhaps for the first time in your life, the lucid reality of the mountains of eternity just hit. You look back on that fog falling away into the valley, and you wonder how you could have been so entranced, so captivated, so swallowed up in the mechanical functions of a man-made machine. And you look ahead, and you see the spectacular peaks and the awful ravines and the unapproachable crags of those mountains, and you wonder how all that could have played such an insignificant role in your life.”
–Friday – from Psalm 73: A wonderful Psalm written by the poet Asaph inspired me with this thought – those who depend upon their wealth for happiness and fulfillment are just one step away from disaster. ￼In a single moment, you can find all of your wealth valueless, and your pleasures vanish away as you face an eternity separated from the presence of your creator.￼ This entire Psalm pairs quite well with the book “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper.￼
–Saturday – from Psalm 74: This is another wonderful Psalm. While reading about the battle between God and evil and how God ultimately triumphed over the serpents of the sea, the scary gods and monsters￼ , and ancient evil…it struck me that – “God is the oldest magic.” And any of us that are J.R.R. Tolkien fans know that ￼old magic is powerful.￼
–Sunday – from a book by Ray Edwards I got an early release of (“Permission To Prosper”): “So why are humans driven to work, to create things, to invent things, and do all the other productive activities we do during any given day? The answer: we are imitating God. We can’t help it. God is the Creator, the Builder, the Inventor and the Entrepreneur.”
–Sunday (yes, I read a lot on Sundays!) – from George Leonard’s book “Mastery”: “We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.”
What do you think? Would you like me to keep giving you these types of “mini-snippets” on random Sundays? If so, I will. Leave your comments and thoughts below. I'd love to hear if you mini-journal, and, if so, what some of your favorite thoughts from this week are.