Some people are hoarders. Others are throwers. And we all tend to hold on to certain sentimental items that have meaning only to ourselves. So when we’re gone, it’s likely that those sentimental items will be sold or given away, or even put in the garbage.
There are other sentimental realities that are not material: memories, visions, hopes and dreams sought after and attained; stories of struggle and victory, failure and success, and the significance of one’s personal faith throughout life. To pass these realities on to our heirs (and other descendants) we need to communicate our personal histories.
Concordia Historical Institute (St. Louis) does a good job of explaining the rationale for encouraging Christians to make autobiographical notes about their lives:
“Autobiography serves church history by producing historical records. We are not suggesting prideful patting oneself on the back, however, but that in godly humility you write an account of your life and work, telling the good and the bad, the high points and low points, the successes and failures. These are all part of the story of God's continuing grace in and through the church.
Personal insights into the past, an evaluation of personal experiences in the service of the church, comments on major events and many related subjects can often be better understood through autobiographical accounts, reminiscences and diary entries. Without the accounts of the services rendered and reactions to episodes and incidents in the church, much human interest data can easily be lost.” (Service Bulletin #3b at http://chi.lcms.org/)
Whatever age we are, it’s never too early or too late to keep a journal, or just jot down some facts that could be useful to those who follow after us, in our families, in our work place, and in the church. Even if we don't see that there is much value in the story of our lives, some day there will be others who are thankful that we took the time to write them down.