Summary: What does it mean for us and do for us to meditate. Part 6 of 13 on Spiritual Disc.
Spiritual Discipline of Meditation
February 10, 2008
I was reading a story about a man who was running on his treadmill. He had it set at an incline of 5.5%. About 30 minutes into his workout the treadmill had a slight malfunction. He was running at a fairly decent pace and doing incline intervals, and wanted to start his warm down. So, he hit the button to decline the treadmill back to level.
However, the button didn’t respond. He hit it again - - nothing happened. He was stuck. At this point he said he literally began to ‘freak out,’ those were his words. He said he had this mental image that he would die on the treadmill because no one would have found him until it was too late.
Then a thought popped into his head, “Hey stupid . . . . just step off the treadmill.” So, he did.
Have you ever felt that when you were caught up in a situation, you were literally unable to think rationally. Those moments seem to come when we can least afford them. We are busy, we have things to do . . . it’s kind of like what I was talking about last week when we don’t make time to celebrate and experience the joy of the Lord.
Our lives are so caught up in busyness and muchness, that we don’t know how, we can honestly take the time to slow down. Yet, if we could . . . that is exactly what we would do. So, how do we cope when life is spinning out of control, and all we think we can do is hang on, and what we hang onto is the very thing we should be letting go of? Oh, we do hold onto God, but it is a yelling, a calling out, a crying out to God, we hang on like a cat clawing its way up a screen, and we wait for God to show Himself in our lives.
So how do you cope with those situations? You see, God didn’t create us to simply endure this complex life, instead, we are to enjoy it, we are to take passages like John 10:10 as fact and believe this is what God wants for us . . . to live the exceedingly abundant life. Are you living that life? Are you living the EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANT life? Because you and I were created for so much more than we can ever imagine.
One of the ways to connect with God and experience that amazing life and joy is through something most Christians are very suspicious of . . . meditation.
Honestly, when we think of meditation we think of Buddhists and people sitting with their legs crossed in some position which I cannot get into, and we chant or simply say “Ummmmmmm.” That is our view of meditation. In fact, from the Spiritual Discipline presurvey, 81% of those who took the survey do not meditate on a regular basis, if at all.
On 58 different occasion we are told to meditate in the Old Testament. Passages like Psalm 1 tells us,
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 119:97 reminds us, Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
Psalm 63:4 “I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. 6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
We even hear of Isaac going out to meditate in the fields in Genesis 24:63.
The point of meditation is to connect with God, so that we can be obedient to God as we listen to what God’s desire is for our lives. It’s almost that simple, yet there is something about meditation that is scary. It is not concrete. It’s not like reading the Bible, where you can hold the book in your hands. Meditation is about you and God . . . and maybe that in and of itself is the scariest part. We come face to face with God . . . alone. Just you and God, and that is pretty scary, yet isn’t that what we do in prayer, we call upon God, yet maybe meditation has a more personal aspect to it, and maybe we just don’t know much about it, so we shy away from it.
Richard Foster said “meditation boldly calls us to enter into the living presence of God for ourselves. It tells us that God is speaking in the continuous present and wants to address us. God speaking to us. . . isn’t that what we long for?