Mapping Your Private World

Journaling: a tool to bring your soul into focus.

On December 17, 1968, I wrote the following words on page one of a spiral-bound, college-ruled notebook:

"With some hesitation I begin the lifelong task of keeping a personal journal. This effort starts in the final third of my twenty-ninth year. For a long time I carried on an argumentative dialog with myself as to the significance of such an undertaking. It seems presumptuous to think that my life's notes will have any value once I am gone.

"Yet perhaps the greatest contribution one might leave for his posterity would be a personal chronicle of real living—unbridled life, unglossed and real to the core."

With the benefit of age, I now see youthful pomposity in those words. Later in that entry I wrote:

"If just one person could look into the window of my soul and see me for what I really am before God … they would catch a glimpse of several frustrated forces—some good, some bad—fighting for the dominance of my heart. Were it not for the promise of God in Philippians ...

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