Being a writer, I process best through writing down my thoughts. Because of this, I keep a couple journals -- one for everyday stuff: what I'm doing, what I think about the weather or what's been going on lately. My other journal is a prayer journal. I jot down bible verses I want to remember, notes from sermons and other messages and my thoughts on what I'm reading (remember I'm trying to read the whole bible this year?).
It's neat to flip back through and see what I've learned this year, as well as pick up on things that I mention repeatedly. Something that has been coming up often in my most recent entries is the word "cycle". (My apologies to everyone who thought this post would be about Bicycles.) As far as I can tell, a lot of the systems and situations God set up for us create cycles. Here are my thoughts and a couple examples of what I mean.
Financially supporting the church is an oft-discussed issue. Should you give, if so, how much and how often? Though it might seem in some places that the church is just asking for your cash every Sunday so they can buy the preacher a new convertible (this is a gross exaggeration), in fact, that money will come back to help you out. God made a system -- when you give to the church, and they help others, those others will give to the church and who knows when you may need that same help? Makes giving a little easier, right?
In 1 Corinthians 13, there is the famous section on the characteristics of love. These all function in a sort of cycle as well -- what you dish out; joy, humility, encouragment, self-control and forgiveness? These will be dished out to you in turn. It's not an accident that it works that way either. God planned things so that if we followed his plans that life would be a lot more enjoyable. We just need to get with it!
I'm working to get these things in order in my life. Any cycles you are familiar with?