What do we mean by meditation, and how do we engage this practice as the people of God?
1. Meditation is not new to Christianity! It is firmly established in our rich history and easily demonstrated throughout the Scriptures. We see it most pronounced in the life of King David as he passionately pursues oneness and intimacy with God. He says in Psalm 119:97, "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long." To David, meditating on God's words and instruction is a means to know Him, to access His presence, and to learn of His life-giving ways.
2. Whereas some forms of meditation are designed to facilitate an emptying of the mind, meditating like David demonstrates a way of making space, maybe cutting other things out that war for our attention, to engage the mind at a deeper level.
3. Furthermore, whereas some meditation might lead you in connecting to a universal force that exists both in and around us, meditating like David means engaging with a personal God for personal intimacy, the God is the very Source of that energy and connectedness throughout all of creation!
So what do we mean?
When a lot of things are warring for our hearts and attention, we need to make space in our minds to be attentive to His Words, with openness and availability to hear from His Holy Spirit.
This might mean cutting some things out, maybe media/tv or a few extra minutes of sleep so we can take advantage of the early morning or late night quiet... Sometimes, in the run of a busy day, it means less worry and more trust as continually bring our attention back to God's words.
We trust that God wants to connect with us at a personal level through His Word. These are not impersonal words, just as he is not an impersonal being! He wants to speak, and He wants His sheep to know and hear His voice!
Meditating on God's word is a discipline with a cost. It is a counter-cultural move, a leaning into the Narrow Gate, while the world flows with seeming ease in another direction...
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13-14, NIV).
Still, it will not leave you wanting! But will do the saving work of restoring you into a fruitful, life-giving, and whole human being!
Blessed is the one ...whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in seasonand whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
(Psalm 1:1-3, NIV)