Experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now can be the result of habitual practice. The photo above is of my journal. It is the most valuable piece of property I own. It contains a running dialog of conversation between me and Father God. Sometimes he speaks back giving me a peace which passes all understanding.
This is from a particular daily entry. It has a section in pencil which is me talking to God. It is me telling him what is going on in my life right now-as if he doesn’t already know. It then has a section from His book the Bible. His texts are in green. The blue ink is my thinking about the words I just read. Remember this is a dialog and a commentary interested in building a relationship. The final writing is in red ink, which are my regular prayers and current intercessions.
I have taught on this practical habit of building a relationship with God in this way. I often get a cultural response of how can you afford to take so much time to do this activity. It is actually a time saver here is how.
Years ago I was competing for a very large account in our financial advisory practice. The opportunity was to manage a slice of a union pension fund. We bid on the work making the final cut. In the journal I was praying, writing in red ink, asking for Gods favor. What I received instead was His wisdom. It suddenly occurred to me to build a relationship with the union pension fund rather than just make it a business “deal.” In my final presentation I asked for two items as a part of our representation. The first condition, was I wanted to serve the union membership so I asked to be able to join the union, obtain a union card so I could go into the union hall and buy a round if I so chose. My thought was that we actually serve the men and women of the local union and needed to conduct ourselves in such a way that we could walk into the union hall with a head held high and shake the hands of the people who actually did the work. Integrity! The second condition was to get an investment policy statement from the board so I understood the risk parameters for our investment advisory work. We were told a week later that we won the competition with one proviso. In no way would we get a union card. In fact we would have no direct contact with the union members at all we would only report directly to the board. In a difficult decision we declined to do the work. I rested on the wisdom of God. It was hard to turn down. Our company operates on a principle of every worker at Destiny Capital is treated as an owner. We equitably divide operating profits on a gainsharing basis when our company is profitable the employees get a share of the gains. Turning down the pension fund has direct impact on everyone on staff. But I was not willing to compromise what I felt was the Father’s direction, relationships matter to him.
Fast forward a few years. The front cover of the local newspaper is a picture of the board of directors of the local pension fund in handcuffs coming down the steps from the county courthouse indicted for taking kickbacks from the investment managers of the pension fund. The investment advisors were also implicated in the indictment.
The time invested in the journal activity and reading not only saved time in this case it saved our company. The sheer implication of impropriety would have “labeled” our small business out of business. That kind of publicity stays on your record forever.
Investing practical time in some kind of journaling activity practically plows the ground for the Kingdom of Heaven seeds to be planted in great soil. Plow well in your journals. Until next week.