Keeping a Diary

June 6, 2012 - 5:00 am

“That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.  It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. ‘What honour and recognition has Mordecai received for this?’ the king asked. ‘Nothing has been done for him,’ his attendants answered.” — Esther 6:1–3

Do you remember what you did yesterday? How about a week ago? A month ago? A year ago?

When I was in high school, I had a teacher who told us that each night before going to bed he would reflect upon and write down what he had done that day. At the end of the week, as the Sabbath was beginning, he would consider all that he had done during the previous week.

When a month went by he thought about all the weeks of the month, where he fell short, and where he needed to improve. Finally, at the end of the year, as the Jewish New Year arrived he was able to piece together all that he had done and take a full account of his past year.

Many of us want to live lives that are consistent with the will of God as expressed in the Bible. But how do we do that? How can I live a good life without really remembering much of the life that I live? Of course we remember the generalities but it is the specifics that seem really hazy, and it is the specifics that really matter. So here is where King Xerxes got it right. He kept a record, he had a diary.

Keeping a diary without actually reading and reviewing it, though, is like joining a gym without actually exercising. A diary must be kept but it also must be reviewed periodically. When King Xerxes could not sleep, he read his diary and realized that he had not properly thanked and acknowledged Mordecai the Jew for saving his life. What an oversight! When he realized this he made sure to repair his mistake and reward Mordecai appropriately for his loyalty. Imagine if King Xerxes had no diary or did not review that diary. He would have committed a terrible error — and the fate of the Jewish people might have had a different outcome.

Every day, we add paragraphs and pages to the story of our lives. Over time, we add chapters and finally an ending. Take time each day to review your book before the ending is written. Make corrections. Fix mistakes. Repair the hurt. When the final line is written it will be a masterpiece that will leave the reader moved and inspired.


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