I’m a sunset snapper. I wait at waterfalls. I sit in silent woods. I’m lost in oceans.
It is there I meditate on my Creator.
I wake in the dark before the noise to meditate on scripture. I sit and listen as I reflect on the word.
It is there I meditate on my Creator.
And as I meditate – the I is lost and absorbed into my Creator.
I have been taking a group of women through the classic book ‘Celebration of Discipline’. The ‘Discipline of Meditation’ is transforming and I thought I would share my meditation thoughts with you, largely inspired by Richard Foster.
If this isn’t for you then enjoy the pics the Collins fam have taken this week!
We live in a world of noise, hurry and crowds – if we hope to move beyond the superficialities of our culture we must be willing recreate silences.
Take your day today – crowded out, voices demanding, how many times have you said ‘I’m too busy’.
The bible uses two words to convey meditation, and together they’re used 58 times in scripture referring to:
Listening to God. Reflecting on Gods word. Reflecting on his works. Rehearsing his deeds.
Ruminating on his law.
In each case there is stress upon a changed behavior as a result of an encounter with the living God, it is continual focus upon obedience and faithfulness that distinguishes Christian meditation.
*Isaac went out to meditate in the evening. Gen 24:63
*I think of you upon my bed and meditate upon you in the watches of the night. Psalm 63:6
*I will meditate upon your promise. Psalm 119:148
*Eli knew how to listen, and taught Samuel.
*Elijah spent day and night in the wilderness learning to discern the still small voice.
The list goes on. God spoke to them not because of special abilities but because they were willing to listen. Christian meditation – the ability to hear Gods voice and obey His word.
The beauty of a garden created for communion – them with God, Him with them. They fell. They hid. Then, Moses learned to hear God’s voice, speaking ‘face to face as a man speaks with his friend’. Communion restored. The Israelites were not prepared for this face to face intimacy and preferred to listen to God through Moses. So began a long line of prophets, judges. Thankfully, in the fullness of time, Jesus taught us the reality of the kingdom. Jesus is sets us the ultimate example of mediation and communion, modelling for us a hearing and obeying life.
In meditation we are growing into a familiar friendship with Jesus.
What happens in meditation is that we create the emotional and spiritual space which allows Christ to construct an inner sanctuary of the heart. He is looking for communion with us, with inward fellowship of this kind the only outcome is the transforming the of the inner person.
We can’t remain the same. All that’s in the way we will have to let go – not have to, but want to.
Christian meditation and other types of meditation are worlds apart. One empties the mind, the other fills it. Christian meditation goes beyond detachment through deliverance, to rich attachment with God.
Some would say it’s too difficult, too complicated, let’s leave it to those who have time.
Yet those who meditate would say it is as natural, and important, as breathing.
Some would say it is out of touch with modern day thinking, out of touch with reality and suffering.
Yet rather than immunity, meditation yields insights and wisdom for everyday life. How to deal with, issues, problems, finding breakthroughs.
Preparing to meditate.
We learn to mediate by meditating. Our goal is to live in a place of meditation, the church fathers often spoke of ‘optium sanctum’ or holy leisure, a sense of balance and peace through the activities of the day. Living life in the presence, living life deliberately through the day and not sleepwalking. I think that comes in time. So, until then, try setting a time aside.
Meditate upon Scripture.
The primary form of meditation is on scripture, the study of scripture centres on exegesis, meditation centres on internalizing and personalising the passage. Resisting the temptation to pass over superficially as rushing reflects our internal state and this is what needs transforming.
Take a single event, parable, a few verses. Allow it to take root. Applying all of your senses to the task. For example, ‘My peace I give to you’ What is the reality of this verse, brood on the truth, allow the whole person awakened. Rather than dissecting the peace, we are entering into it, until we’re not choosing to act peacefully, it’s springing from within.
Meditate upon creation.
‘The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of His hands.’ Psalm 19:1
Look at created order. The beauty in symmetry. Listen to birds. God reaches us profoundly when we silence ourselves to listen. Allow it to become a way of life.
Meditation is a passive discipline, characterized by reflection rather than study. Not so much an action but to be acted upon.The purpose of meditation is to hear God more clearly. It is listening, sensing, heeding, the life and light of Christ….which will ultimately transform us.
Are you familiar with Christian mediation? Is it something you practice? I’d love to hear from you!
See you tomorrow,
Love, Michelle xoxo