I am very glad at how inspired I have been recently to get in touch with my spiritual beliefs. Even when I was at my local church for confirmation classes, I don’t know how much I thought about what was being taught to me beyond just going through the motions. I appreciate now that this is strictly self-governed interest into learning more.
While I admire the discipline of people who can just sit down every day read some of the Bible. Admittedly, I’ve been trying my hand at that with my phone’s Bible app, but since I’m not involved with an actual church body, I feel like I’m lagging behind. Obviously faith isn’t a competition, but I would like to expand my relationship with God further.
While my random searches on the internet, I came across a community of sorts: people who partake in Bible journaling. At first I assumed it meant writing long prose about a page in the Bible, which doesn’t necessarily speak to me despite the prose I write on my blog regularly. Instead, Bible journaling is more artistic. I highly recommend you look up Bible journaling and Illustrated Faith for some examples of what I mean. The pictures are all over Instagram and Pinterest. People who open the Bible to a random page, find a verse that speaks to them, and illustrate it.
Now some people go all out on this stuff, basically a makeshift scrapbooking operation. I am more interested in the creative interpretation of Scripture. You are inspired enough by God’s Word that you want to create it into a work of art. I think that is so beautiful.
The important aspect here is that Bible journaling, no matter how talented some people are, is that this activity is just for you and God. It’s an individual experience. Nobody is going to end up with the same end result. It should really illustrate your own journey, how your “entries” evolve over time, what verses you gravitate to. Plus, I see it as a very innovative way to grow in your faith.
You can’t just pick up a random Bible and scribble in it. They make Bibles now specifically designed with wider side margins to give you some creative liberty, along with slightly thicker pages so any “art” doesn’t all bleed into each other. And when it comes to art, the possibilities are endless. Want to stick to the margin space, or expand the art onto the words themselves? Want to stick to colored pencils and pens, or take out some paint and stickers? Want to just do some fun word art or get into drawing? Lots of decisions. There is no wrong way to do this. You can’t screw up. The biggest accomplishment is just letting your heart take control. Cheesy, I know, but think of how often we find ourselves on social media or Netflix with no specific purpose? This is what I consider a hobby.
Might I add that if you’re into self-care, this might be a fantastic new idea to incorporate. It’s basically a step above coloring books, except the colors stay inside God’s lines. Perhaps you can find an even greater sense of peace and calmness. You can escape the hectic, anxious world into a place that provides stillness and strength.
Whether you’re into this idea or would rather stick to church involvement or whatever floats your boat, again, others have no right to judge you on how you follow your own faith. That is where we begin to fight wars over religion. We forget the very essence of heavenly commandments and allow human instincts to steer us away from love, respect and kindness. Heck, if you follow a faith, this is all blind. We cannot prove anything in the first place. So before looking at others’ actions with a critical eye, think a little bit about where it’s coming from.
Okay, this is where I’d like to add that no matter what you believe or not, take this post with what you desire. In short, I want one message to resonate above any other: follow your heart, wherever it leads. If this means being drawn to faith, service, or social justice, we should be spending more time on what we truly prioritize for ourselves rather than mindless activities. If you don’t refresh your social media feed every hour, it’s okay, you aren’t missing much. Devote your time and energy to activities that truly bring you joy and fulfillment. That time is never a moment wasted.
I’m in another country, so I’m not about to drop my money on art supplies and a Bible to tote back and forth, but if I still see inspiration for this project in the coming months, I would definitely like to follow through with it. I’m already excited about my daily prayers and Bible reading, and I look forward to seeing where else God will lead me.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie