In a scene from The Office, Michael Scott stands in front of a classroom. The unpredictable and hilarious branch manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper company of Scranton, PA stops and points his finger. He adamantly says to the class, “Write this down. Paper is here to stay…” The camera moves towards the students. You can hear them clicking the keys of their laptops.
Walk into a Barnes and Noble and notice the journal section of the store. Paper and pens never looked so trendy. Yet, we spend most of our days tied to a computer or scanning a smart phone. We type haphazardly with spell check automatically fixing errors. Something happens when our fingers clutch a pen and hear the strokes of the ink hitting the page. Even with the mistakes or crossed out words, we can go back to see exactly what we felt as we wrote.
Physical pages express permanence. Maybe you’re like me with a mind running a thousand miles per hour. Thoughts can remain trapped in our heads. Positively, we dream, ponder and count our blessings to never record them. Negatively, we mull over the hurt, pain, bitterness and anger without letting them come to the surface.
Writing gives our thoughts a place. This single act invites us to locate the activity of our souls. Sometimes we talk in circles and other times our minds wander. Paper allows the content of our mind to have a destination. Also, we need reminders like notebooks taking us back to the moments we penned the words.
This practice calls us to pay attention to the work of God’s grace in us. You might want grab a notebook and pen or just a piece of paper and a pencil. Take time throughout to the day to stop and write:
The moment your hurts disorient your thoughts; direct them to a place and write it down.
When you gain insight or clarity; write it down.
You get distracted by the thoughts of the wonderful people in your life; write it down.
Taking the time to learn from your mistakes; write it down.
What you hope and dream for the future; write it down.
The prayer to become more like Christ; write it down.
What will you write down today?
Photo credit to Jessie Schnall, you can see more of her work at Portraits by Jessie.