Taking Notes on Life

We are definitely in one of the most unique times in our nations history. The challenges we are currently facing are unlike any that we may have ever experienced. However, through this entire pandemic, there are some vital lessons that we can learn and grow from. There is no way I could write the many things all of us are currently learning and being challenged by, but there is one thing that keeps jumping back up at me.

If you know me I am a big proponent of writing things down. In my personal library I have more than my share of moleskine journals, spanning over the last several years. Every once in awhile I will go back through some of them, read notes I made, prayers I wrote down, dreams I put to paper and overall doodles that I created during times I must not have had anything else to do! LOL

Often these notes inspire me! I see prayers I wrote down that God answered and ideas that came to me that eventually were implemented or tossed to the side for something better. Whatever it was – they were notes I made on LIFE. Things I went through, words I felt God gave me, direction that I was seeking etc….

It is so important that we take notes on life. You may not be one to pick up an empty journal and put down your thoughts, but I would encourage you to capture moments, especially ones we currently find ourselves in right now. Write about it, put down your thoughts, your feelings, your fears, your prayers, anything that speaks to you.

In my book The HandBook: Five Forces To Form Your Future, I discuss the importance of taking notes on life.  Life moves so fast and if you and I are not careful it will pass by without us learning vital lessons along the way.  What I mean by “taking notes on life” is simply that we must pay attention to everything that is going on around us and make mental notes on what is being taught through the circumstances and situations of life.

One of my instructors from college, Dr. Arlo Moehlenpah, can be found constantly taking notes. In every service, conference, retreat or gathering I have been with him, I have watched him take notes.  I asked him a few years ago what he does with those notes. He informed me that he files them away so he can access them later. He related a story to me at that time about how these notes collected over the years have helped him. He and his lovely wife were preparing for a missions trip to Europe and in his time of study he went to the files of thousands of notes and came across some he had taken from a minister’s message from way back in the 1980’s. These notes from decades ago helped him prepare for what he was going to be teaching at that time.

This ought to be our approach to life.  We grow by listening and paying attention to what goes on around us.  We learn by watching the choices others make and how those choices effect the future of their lives.  We were not created to be an island unto ourselves, we need other people. I also mention in The HandBook that life moves at the speed of our relationships and friendships. You will never become the person who God desires you to become if you live life quarantined from everyone else (even in the middle of the “shelter in place” season).  You can avoid a lot of pitfalls and trouble by paying attention to what others are going through in life and how they handle adverse circumstances.

Watch how other people respond to circumstances and challenges, learn to ask questions, take in everything around you and write it down or mentally file it away because there will be a day you may be able to use that information.  It may help you avoid some trouble in the journey ahead. For me personally, I have to write things down. I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go and if something strikes me as interesting or something I need to remember, I write it down.  I watched my grandfather Sargent do this for years and I always thought it to be humorous but now I see why he did it.

Life moves so fast we would do well to write it down as best as we can.  I hope you can learn to take notes on life.

Darin Sargent