“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment” Matthew 22:37 (NIV).
Can you recall the last time you received a handwritten personal letter in your mailbox? I can’t.
Over lunch recently, a friend and I were discussing the lost art of letter writing. My friend commented on a box of letters written by her mother over the years. While the letters were not filled with anything important, they were a chronicle of what was going on in her parents’ lives at the time. “My mother wrote things that were not earth-shattering but a sharing of their lives,” she says. “When I go back and reread them occasionally, the words bring back such wonderful memories.”
Like me, my friend misses going to the mailbox to retrieve something besides a bill or junk mail, and maybe an occasional card. While some might complain about the price of a postage stamp, I think the cost is minimal compared to the thrill of someone taking the time to pen their thoughts on paper, place it an envelope and drop it in the mail. Although first class letters recently increased by a penny to 46 cents, I still think it’s a bargain.
In an age of cell phones, text messaging and e-mails, the longtime practice of writing letters to family and friends is becoming a thing of the past. Then, along came Twitter and those who tweet learned to express themselves in 140 characters—not words—or less.
Before the age of social media, people wrote genuine letters to their loved ones. Think of the history contained on the inked pages that document someone’s life. What of the letters written home to loved ones from the battlefields of war? I am sure the recipients treasured them, especially if their soldier never returned home.
When teaching high school, I would often receive a note, letter or card from one of my students or a fellow teacher. Although I have been retired from education since 2005, I still have those handwritten missives in a yellow file folder.
Deuteronomy 6:5-6 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.”
Do you really love God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your strength? If you do, do you spend quality time with Him each day? When we love someone, we seek to spend time with that person as much as possible.
I begin each day reading the Bible and writing a love letter to God in my prayer journal. Since I started journaling 11 years ago, my intimacy with the Lord has grown. I now address Him in my journal as “Dear Abba Father.”
I challenge you to put God first in your life. Spend time with Him each morning. Write a personal love letter to your Heavenly Father. He loves to hear from His children.
Do you spend time with Your Heavenly Father each morning? Have you tried prayer journaling? If so, please feel free to share your experiences with me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.