By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
ELLICOTT CITY, Md.—Adam Feldman, founding pastor of Metanoia Church, Ellicott City, recalls when he was struggling through a difficult time in the life of Metanoia. He was discouraged. He turned to his journal.
“Metanoia was not growing at the pace that I had hoped it would. Not even close. I got so frustrated and depressed that I actually considered throwing in the towel,” Feldman wrote in his book, “Journaling: Catalyzing Spiritual Growth Through Reflection.”
“I stepped back and began journaling my thoughts and feelings. There on the pages of my journal in 2007 I saw clear as day that I had a deep root of entitlement. I was frustrated and depressed because I felt entitled to rapid growth and also to being the next great well-known church planter.
“Another thing that I noticed on those pages is that Metanoia was growing exactly the way we planned her to grow; deep and organically.”
The journal gave him proper perspective.
Throughout his life, Feldman has kept journals. They serve as tools for reflection and perspective, drawing closer to Jesus through time set aside to pray, reflect and write from the heart. Journaling, Feldman discovered, is a spiritual discipline.
Feldman wrote his book in an effort to share his knowledge and experience of the blessings of journaling.
He said his journals are a collection of poems, spiritual rumination, daily experiences, sermon notes, feathers, photos, drawings and sketches, dried flowers, leaves, and quotes. “Needless to say, my journals are a reflection of my life.”
That’s an important point, he emphasizes. At one time, he kept separate journals for different aspects of his life but discovered that Jesus is Lord of all whether at a ball game or at church. There is no need to separate secular and spiritual.
“…[J]ournaling is less about me…and more about Jesus. Yes, I may be writing about my kids battling a stomach bug, my frustration over replacing the water heater, or my hopes and dreams, but remember: Jesus is involved in my day-to-day rhythm. Every word that you and I pen is a description of life with Christ. And, if you and I choose to reflect upon what we write, we will inevitably find Jesus on every page.”
Journaling is a spiritual discipline and can be integrated with disciplines of the Word, disciplines of prayer and disciplines of reflection.
The book is an easy, interesting and inspiring read. It includes an appendix which helps the reader set up a moleskine journal and make a plan to journal.