I love my journal. I write my prayers, my SOAP devotionals (Scripture, Observation, Application & Prayer – thank you Pastor Joey and Pastor Gigi!), my thoughts, random lists, and once in a while I’ll sketch in it. I strongly suggest anyone to take out a piece of paper and pen and to just write. Get your thoughts down and write what you’re truly feeling.

One day after work this week I sat at Washington Square Park and pulled out my journal. I made a quick sketch of the arch and the fountain. As I sketched I took note of the quote engraved on the arch by Washington:

Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.”

The quote simply solidified thoughts I’ve had for sometime. I keep thinking about the importance of honesty and knowing the “why.”

For example, you post a beautiful but filtered picture on Instagram of a moment in your life. Why? Is it really for you to keep track of your own memories, or is it for the rest of the world to see and to “like”?

Or you’re a college student who needs to make sure he/she is a part of this club, and that club, and that organization, and that non-profit. Why? To “look good” on your resumé?

As I also read the bible and write more of my SOAPs, I notice how honest and how real Jesus was. When He saw that his temple was being used as a market place, He was so angry and drove all of the animals and all of the people out. Jesus saw injustice and was angry. It was okay for Him to feel that way and to do what was right. He didn’t care if others disapproved of His actions. (John 2:15-16)

Can we all please take a step back and just be real? Imagine how much more productive your community would be if everyone looked inside themselves, rather than looked at what they believe others want to see. I realize more and more, too, that authenticity was the thing I once lacked. I had taken on responsibilities and lost myself along the way. I’d do all that I could to put down my “negative” emotions of anger and sadness, instead of giving it to Jesus. I was so controlling of my own emotions. I took the wheel. By the time I entered the psych unit, Jesus finally pushed the brakes and had me come to a short stop.

I drew this because drawing anything with an amazing view is one of my favorite leisure activities. It helps me to calm and wind down from long days (we all need something like that). I share this picture with you now to get you to think about why you do the things you do. I refer back to this page in my journal to ask myself the same.

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My “why” to everything is now in the hand of God. With much love,

– Ariel


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