If you know me, or have had a couple conversations with me, you probably know I enjoy watching the NBC show, The Office. Perhaps I have seen it too often because it is frequently sprinkled into my conversations. As I sat down this morning to spend some time thinking, enjoying my coffee and getting ready for the day, my mind wandered to a story I shared recently and how it directed me to a line in the finale of The Office.
My wife and I and some great friends lead a Financial Peace University class at our church. We were working through the paying off debt lessons and saving for an emergency fund. Just that morning I read in my journal where my wife and I were a year ago at this time. I wrote about financially being on the same page, setting the budget and planning for a completion date when we could make our final payment. The time frame we were hoping to meet was 15 months.
My wife and I enjoy lists, and spreadsheets, coming up with a plan and then executing it. As I looked back to the prior year, we should still have 2-3 months, as I write today, to go in paying off our debt. But we buckled down and ended up paying it off in half the amount of time! This, in and of itself, is a testimony to the value and importance of sacrifice, diligence and, most importantly, continuing to give and submit to God! (A story for another blog).
I was so excited to be able to share an amazing testimony in our lives with our Financial Peace class because many of them are where my wife and I were last year. I was able to share this testimony because 3 years ago, I began a discipline of journaling a little bit each day.
I purchased a journal specifically for writing 1 paragraph a day for 5 years and it has been so great to look back and remember things I’ve done, people I’ve met, places I’ve been, in the last 3 years. I know this is something I will continue to do for the rest of my life because I want to remember, see how I’ve grown and be able to pass these journals down to my children.
So, The Office, now I am coming back around to it. There is a line in the finale of the show said by one of the salesmen as they were recounting their time at this paper company:
“I worked for a paper company all these years and never wrote anything down.”Season 9 Episode 23 of ‘The Office’ – Phyllis Vance
How many times have you heard someone make a comment about how fast life is going? How they can’t believe they are turning 40, or their kids are graduating high school already? One thing which will always be for certain, life is going to continue to move whether we like it or not.
I decided one day I did not want to feel the way this character did in The Office. Those words resonated with me deep down, because I felt the pain behind what she said. I don’t want my life to simply happen and then look back and wonder, “What did I even do? Did I make an impact?” I want to remember the highs and lows of life, see where I journeyed from, who came along my side and see the progress my wife and I made with our lives. I want to have something of value to pass down to my children. One way to ensure this is by writing it down.
Perhaps this is only for me today, but I think everyone should try this. By nature, I am not a natural journaler. I get distracted pretty easily, or my hand can’t keep up with my brain so I give up trying to write my thoughts down. But mainly, I have terrible handwriting… It is often a challenge to just read what I wrote. Maybe you are similar. Maybe journaling would be a challenge, but I assure you it is worth it.
I have nearly completed 3 years of this journaling practice and I am amazed at, after just 3 years, all the things I’ve done, seen and accomplished. I write because it is my testimony, and my testimony has power and value and can inspire. And it’s the exact same for you! I believe our testimonies are not for us alone; but for someone out there who may be exactly where you were 1 year ago. How amazing would it be if you could inspire hope and be a living example of hope for someone else?
Write it down. It is never too late to start. Go for it, there is power and value in remembering.
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.Revelation 12:11