September 3, 2012 by Daniel Beckworth
For my Spiritual Formations class this semester I’ve been asked to keep a daily journal. That seems a bit like keeping a diary. Which seems a little bit like being a princess. And I don’t want to be a pretty little princess. I want to wear plaid, drive a truck, drink IBC Root Beer on my patio while I read my bible, and punch clowns in the face. As you can tell, my life aspirations don’t line up with being a princess or keeping a diary.
But I’m journaling each day because it’s a class requirement and I want to pass. More importantly I want to be obedient to the godly men who have dedicated large portions of their time to invest in me. For that I am grateful and in response I seek to follow their advice. I just assume they want the best for me. So, I journal.
It’s been a little weird so far. I am relieved that no fairy dust has flown off the pages and I don’t have to talk about my feelings. My journal is not covered in glitter, so, that’s cool. I’ve been writing about what I learn each day as I read my Bible and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney. I also throw in a few quotes from whatever book I happen to be reading at the time. I have also taken the time to write my personal revelations, sins that need to be repented of, personal failures, character flaws, hopes, dreams, ministry tips, and advice for a life of ministry and being a man. All that is great, but I recently reached a turning point when I decided to write each entry addressed directly to my son, Sawyer. He is by far my favorite little person and I delight in him. I’ve been praying that he would grow up to be a pastor one day. A kick-butt evangelist that points to Jesus. A man devoted to God’s Word above all in a time that will surely be desperate for biblical truth. I’ve basically been praying that he would be a modern day John the Baptist.
With that in mind, I want to leave my son with a practical guide from his father that touches on what it means to shepherd his people. How to start and, most importantly, finish well. I want to be brutally honest about my daily failures as a man, pastor, husband, and father. My son needs to see that I am far from perfect, but completely forgiven in Christ. I want my son to see that I feel completely unworthy of being a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet it’s not me, but the power that works within me. My son must see that his father is an ordinary man that lacks the skills necessary to serve Christ, but we serve an awesome God that once used a donkey to speak and he’s done it again! My son must know that at the end of each day, I came home to spend time with he and his mother because they matter more to me than my personal achievement. My son must know that success in this life is not determined by my intellect, degrees hanging on my wall, size of my ministry, or my bank account; obedience is success. Faithfulness is success.
And I’ve also enjoyed journaling because it is actually helping me grow. I encourage all of us to leave a legacy to our children that clearly points out what really matters.