We so often hear the phrase “turn over a new leaf”…”start afresh”…”have a clean slate”. New beginnings are great, with no previous expectations to live up to, and endless possibilities of where the journey will take us.
Expressing our prayer and worship or meditating on scripture, using a journal, gives us a physical “blank” page to start on – each and every occasion. The previous page need have no bearing on what this new page will hold. In a way, it’s a tangible metaphor for our relationship with God: We can put our sins behind us, affirm Christ as our Saviour and dedicate our lives to him. But then what?
We must take the first step, and the gift of a blank page can sometimes feel more of a burden than an opportunity. Where do I start? What if I make a mistake? What if it doesn’t turn out right?
With journaling, the answer is simple: just make the first mark.
If you like colour, get some colour on the page – paint a background, scribble, splatter, crayon, draw a frame, or stick a magazine picture on the page. If you prefer to write, begin with “Father”, “Jesus” or whatever scripture phrase you just read. When the page is no longer blank, you have made a start and it’s so much easier to continue.
“But what if I mess up?” Guess what – we WILL mess up, we DO mess up – some of us mess up every day. But we can learn from our mistakes, we can build on our language or art skills, just as we can build our relationship with God day by day.
And tomorrow, there is a new blank page waiting for us.