My little black book
I had a chance to go for a lovely lunch with a local businessman, where in addition to eating we prayed and shared our spiritual journeys. During the lunch I shared on a little technique I’ve found very helpful to stay focused.
The picture you see above is of a little Moleskine notebook. It fits perfectly in a shirt pocket. When I go to the chapel, or just try and find a quiet spot for prayer, I keep it handy. My purpose is not to write, it’s to speak to God — and to listen. But there are two stresses that come up during prayer that this book helps with.
First of all, I find my head is so filled with work and projects that they intrude when what I need is to be in the zone with God. As soon as a distraction hits, I just write it down, parking it on paper. It really works — I can give myself permission to not think of whatever might be preoccupying me, and just talk to the Lord.
Once those are settled, I find that my times of quiet prayer are phenomenal moments of creativity and focus, and even inspiration (and yes, I include the divine word there too). The problem is, once an idea hits, it too can become a distraction — because I don’t want to forget it! So the notebook helps there too.
When I was younger I journalled regularly. In fact, I can honestly say it was my contact with God through journalling that brought me to the seminary — even prepared me for a direct encounter with Christ. But that is a topic for another day.