How to Actually Use a Bullet Journal for Bible Study, part 2
Have you ever read a Psalm and seen the word selah at the end of phrase? The first time it shows up is following Psalm 3:1-2. I have a little note in my Bible that says,
“A word of uncertain meaning, occurring frequently in the Psalms: possibly a musical term(Spiritual Renewal Bible, NIV) ”.
Got Questions, a favorite resource of mine, digs a little deeper into other Hebrew words that may serve as the root word and thus give clues about the original meaning. Based on those words, the author concludes that when we see selah “we should pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just read or heard, lifting up our hearts in praise to God for His great truths.” In other words, stop and think about what you have just read.
Slowing down is an important, but often neglected step in Bible Study. I too have been guilty of forgetting or procrastinating on my Bible Study homework and then rushing through four or five days’ worth of work in the hour before my study group meets. I end up taking in a ton of information without really getting much out of it. It’s like wolfing down your dinner before you run out the door to your next activity. Sure, the food goes in your mouth, but did you taste it? Will you remember what you ate the next day? Probably not. The Bible is not fast food. It is meditative literature, meant to be read slowly and enjoyed over an entire lifetime. That’s where the Bullet Journal comes in handy.
In How to Actually Use a Bullet Journal, Part 1, we discussed how to Rapid Log as you Read and then migrate your notes to Collections. This process alone causes me to read more carefully, with more intention. Then I go back over my notes while I’m thinking through the Migration process, considering what, if any, Collection I will add it to. Sometimes I’m not sure what to do, so I doodle. It might seem mindless, but while my hands are busy, my brain is actively going over the words I just read. Without actually thinking about it I am looking for patterns and connections. Plus, it makes the pages pretty (well, sometimes – I’m not the best doodler!). Selah encourages you to prayerfully play.
Did you know doodling is scientifically proven to help you take better notes and retain more from your study sessions? Go ahead and google it! When we take notes, whether we’re writing words or sketching quick images, we are taking in the information, processing it, and repeating it through our own lens of understanding. Another word for this automatic procedure? LEARNING!
You do not have to be an expert artist to doodle on your own notes. Like every module of the Bullet Journal, adding to your notes with color, design, or illustration is a tool. If it doesn’t enhance your study of the Word, don’t worry about it. Regardless of your skill (which you can always develop! Follow my Pinterest Board for inspiration), whether your write words or sketch snails and frogs, take time to pause. Prayerfully consider the words you are reading. Let your mind dwell on the text. Selah!