Meditation is a spiritual practice that doesn’t seem to be widely taught in the Christian faith. Having attended Christian churches since I was a little girl, it has only been recently that I’ve even heard meditation spoken from the pulpit.
The Psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It is difficult to be still in our noisy and hectic world. Advances in technology have us constantly connected to various devices, media outlets and messages. It’s surprising that we can even think.
Time is our most precious commodity and there never seems to be enough of it. Taking just 10 minutes a day to be still or practice meditation seems to be too much to ask. After all, who has time to do “nothing” for 10 minutes let alone 30 minutes a day? That’s precisely why meditation is needed more than ever.
When I was first writing about meditation I always typed medication by mistake. There was really just one letter of difference. The definition of meditation is to think contemplatively, to intend or plan. Medicate means to treat with medicine. Meditation is like medication because it treats our “dis-ease” that we have in the form of worry, fear, anxiousness, being overwhelmed and stressed. To contemplate means to view thoughtfully, to plan or expect, to consider deliberately.
The first mention of meditating is in Genesis where it says in 24:36, “Issac went out to meditate.” The Psalmist says in 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.“
For Christians prayer has become an important part of our spiritual practice. Prayer is essential. When we pray we are speaking to God. When we meditate, however, this is our opportunity to listen to God. Meditation is also spending time in God’s presence. So, if you change your view of meditation of doing nothing for 10 minutes to, I am sitting in God’s presence for 10 minutes, you can see how profound your interpretation has changed.
When someone is going through a difficult time, they don’t need to hear words. Sometimes no words will help. But what can help is your presence. Just by being present for someone you are showing that you love them and care about them. God created us to have a relationship with Him. If all we do is pray and not listen, then that’s a pretty one-way relationship! You are doing all the talking. Meditation allows us to listen to God.
It saddens me that meditation is not widely taught in the Christian faith. It is a practice that has totally transformed my life. Through meditation I have been able to allow God’s Spirit, presence and love to permeate my life. The results from practicing meditation were immediate in the form of:
- Not feeling overwhelmed
- Receiving immediate peace
- Being able to listen to others
- To not feel the need to speak but to listen
- To be more accepting
- To be less judgmental
- To make better decisions
- To find more clarity in my life
- To be a better parent
- To be more loving
- To be a better friend
- To be a better spouse
- To accept criticism, and I could go on because there are so many more benefits by practicing meditation.
Eating the same food every day gets boring. Also, if we don’t eat the right combinations of food with nutrients, we won’t stay healthy. The same variety goes into meditation. Meditation can come in different forms. By having different options, it helps to maintain a meditation practice that is sustainable, enjoyable, and life-giving.