In the twenty-first century the number of people who have actually used a piece of thick parchment and a fountain pen are probably very few. Actually, these days few people even write by hand, now that we have computers, ipads, and smart phones. Though I realize this image might be considered ancient and outdated by some I would like to compare our minds to a journal made with that thick parchment paper.
The journal is our mind and as we go about our lives we fill that journal up with markings from our pen. Those are our memories. One of the things that makes handwriting such an exemplary image for memories is the personal touch that goes into it. When we are bored our writing is sloppy; when we are focused it is sharp and precise; when we are writing to a loved one it is full of emotion.
In a similar way when events come into our life they are written in our memories. When we have joyful moments they are etched in our memory with gold liner, or when we are sorrowful they are stained with tears. One thing they all share in common, and this is why we can’t compare memories to documents on the computer, is that they cannot be erased. Once we jot something down in our mental journal it is hard to get rid of.
One of the things that we often forget is that we can control what goes into our journal of memories. We are eager to complain about all the difficulties, setbacks, and heartaches that assail us, but do we think of what we allow to filter into our minds and hearts? Do we even filter at all?
There are obviously many unforeseen events or thoughts that can shake us up, but how many times do we let ourselves be led down paths we would rather not tread when we could have avoided them? If I am constantly sad do I try to guide my thoughts to focus on positive things or do I wallow in my own melancholy? Though perhaps we don’t want to admit it, we can guide and control our thoughts. If something is not helping me, even if it is true, why do I need to think about it? It is not beneficial to make myself feel down or ruminate a disgusting idea; because, at the end of my life, this journal of experiences will ultimately be who I am. I need to write the book of my life in a way that is not only something I would be proud of but also in a way that it is a book God would be proud of. For in the end the only way we can write a bestseller with our lives is to let God be the author, for he has a knack for writing straight with crooked lines.