"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them..." ~ 1 Timothy 4:15a (KJV)
I pray God's blessings over you, you beautiful child of God, as you embark upon this new week!
The other night, I couldn't sleep. We're talking tossing and turning for 3 hours kind of can't sleep.
Of course, as I'm sitting here all I can think is, "Gee, I wish I had thought to ask God why I was restless!" But, I didn't. It didn't even occur to me. What I did instead was pull out my phone after an hour or so and do research.
In my midnight e-wandering, I came across an article wherein the idea of Christians meditating was spurned. The behavior was not simply discouraged, it was downright decried as darkness-friendly.
I have encountered this idea before, so I figured two things...
One, you might as well know where I stand on the issue, and two, it's probably a good idea for you to think about it and decide where your beliefs land.
I might as well be the impetus for you asking yourself, "Self, what do I think?!" :)
First of all, many people use the words prayer and meditation interchangeably. I am not one of those people. However, I do endeavor to be diligent in bringing prayer into my meditation.
If either the photo or the verse I chose to begin with didn't give me away, there you have it. Yes, I believe that followers of Jesus not only can meditate but really should.
The argument I encountered in the wee small hours asserted that the idea of meditation is to create empty space. Since nature abhors a vacuum, the opinion of these folks was that naturally, a soul left empty would be occupied by all manner of nasty elements of the spiritual realm.
But, here's the thing...
Let's take money as an abstract example. Money itself is not evil. The Bible tells us that the love of money is. By the way, I don’t believe that means having money or the good stewardship of resources is bad in any way, the opposite in fact; I believe we are called to both. However, I do believe prioritizing money over all else, the idolization of money, is where we land in the danger zone. There were plenty of children of God in the Bible with unimaginable resources who were able to do good with those resources and enjoy them, too. But, I digress.
Money. Money is a tool. It is neither good nor bad. It depends on what we choose to do with it, how we choose to use it.
Meditation is neither good nor bad, it is simply a tool. Do we engage with it in a space of Godly love, in an effort to be salt and light?
When I meditate, I ask God to meet me there. I tell Him that I trust Him to uproot in me anything that does not serve His purposes in my being, in my heart, in my soul, in my thoughts, in my life, or in the way I engage with the world. And together, we set to work.
God bless anyone who can actually manage to create true internal emptiness. I am usually only able to manage a small to medium clearing. Whatever our skill level for quieting the noise of the world and perpetual human thought to create an environment of internal tranquility and stillness, I 100% believe we get to choose what fills that vacated space.
As for me? I pray He would fill me with His grace and mercy such that I might see His children the way that He sees them, be who He would have me be, and do what He would have me do. I ask that I be infused with the Peace that passes all understanding, that God would imbue me with the power of His presence and anchor His Word into my heart, that the Holy Spirit would show up.
Come Holy Spirit, come.
It matters what we invite in and we as believers must know that we have the power to choose.
Quieting the mind and getting still, in order to "Be still and know..."? The best tool I know is meditation woven together with prayer and petition for His presence to show up and work in us.
And, as a bonus, research has shown that a regular practice of meditation can reduce both stress and pain, improve sleep (ironically enough,) elevate the way we are able to engage with other flawed mortals, and bring an internal tranquility that helps not only our emotional wellbeing but also our physical and mental health.
Studies have shown that meditation enhances empathy, improves cognition, stabilizes stress, increases capacity for attention, and more.
Who doesn't want all of that in their life in an effort to optimize the experience of being human, in order to best become the child of God each of us was individually and intentionally created to be? I certainly do!
Beyond that, I would assert, it also expands our ability to converse with the Son, to connect with the Father, and to listen for the whispers of the Holy Spirit.
So, to answer the initial question. No. I do not believe "Christian meditation" to be an oxymoron.
The conversation (and the choice) is ultimately between you and the Father. But, you have my two cents.
Pray about it and see if perhaps cultivating a practice to clear out the noise of the world and the chatter of being human to make room for the presence of God by using the powerful tool of meditation might be right for you.
You know us. You know our hearts. You know our needs.
Thank You for helping us to walk in wisdom and discernment in all ways, all the days of our lives. And, when we in our humanness fail to do so, thank You for Your grace and forgiveness.
Thank You that Your mercies are new each morning.
When it comes to meditation and prayer, thank You for helping us to know one from the other. And, in the practices of those of Your children who choose to meditate, thank You for showing up in those moments, for filling the space with YOU, with Your peace, with Your presence, with Your grace, with Your light.
Thank You for guiding us and showing us the way day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath, for showing us Your way.
Thank You for being You in our lives, for being ever-present, and for loving us so well.
All of this we pray in the most holy name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
"This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do." ~ Joshua 1:8
"I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search." ~ Psalm 77:6 (KJV)
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things." ~ Philippians 4:8
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
Sharables! ...and, hey, thanks for sharing. ♥
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