First, I have a confession to make. I didn’t always choose to meditate on God. As a matter of fact, I didn’t choose to meditate, period.
Meditation and the Christian Faith
When I was growing up, meditation was never mentioned in my Christian faith. Prayer and Bible study were the only examples of spiritual practices. So, I had no knowledge of meditation. Meditation did not even come into my awareness.
I Thought to Meditate was Woo Woo or Doing Nothing
As a teenager in the 1970’s the only meditation I was exposed to were images of yogi’s or the flower children in their robes and peace symbols. I call it a Woo Woo thing.
Later in life, my understanding was that to meditate was to do nothing. I was a busy advertising executive. I didn’t have time to do “nothing.”
But I also saw research that this “doing nothing” through meditation was a practice to relieve anxiety and stress. I was able to manage the stress in my life until one crazy workday too many.
Discovering Meditation Out of Desperation
Having spent the majority of my corporate career in radio sales, management, and consulting, it was demanding and stressful. One consulting job, however, won the award for the most stressful position ever. It caused me to hit a breaking point one day.
My son was home from college. We had planned to have lunch together. There was a conference call scheduled that kept getting moved.
We opted to get carry out instead of going to the restaurant. Just as we sat down to eat, I was notified that the conference call was happening.
I took my chicken salad over to the kitchen counter while my son sat at the table. With the mute button on, I listened in and ate my salad. The entire time I was seething. I was so angry that our time had been taken away.
When the call ended, I felt like I was losing my mind. I remembered a meditation CD a friend had given me. I found it and popped it into my player. There was a ten-minute version and a twenty-minute version. I knew I didn’t have time to do “nothing” for twenty minutes, so I started with the ten minute one.
Meditating on God Gave (and Gives) Me Instant Peace
The meditation happened to be one using The Lord’s Prayer. I felt immediate peace. The next day I couldn’t wait to do the twenty-minute version.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to meditate is a verb and means:
To think seriously about something, especially over a period of time:
If you meditate, you give your attention to one thing, and do not think about anything else, usually as a religious activity or as way of calming or relaxing your mind.
To Meditate is Not to Do Nothing or to Empty the Mind
I choose to meditate on God because I choose to spend time to just be in God’s presence. The greatest gift we can give someone is our presence.
While there is talk of emptying the mind through meditation, I believe we do empty our minds of fear, anxiety, and worry only so that they can be filled with God’s peace and clarity.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Our minds are sound when we meditate – think on God as opposed to thinking on the chaos of the world through the news, social media, and our own anxious thoughts that hijack our peace.
If You Are Hesitant About Practicing Meditation You Aren’t Alone
I was pleasantly shocked to find out that I wasn’t alone in desperation driving me to meditation. At an advent retreat led by one of my all-time favorite authors, Wayne Muller, he asked for a show of hands how many people had come to meditation out of desperation. Out of fifty attendees, over half raised their hands!
Wayne then led us into meditation. I had never been in a room full of so many people meditating at the same time. You could feel the presence of God. It affirmed the verse, Matthew 18:20 when Jesus says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
Many of Our Life’s Decisions are Made Out of Pain or Desperation
We are not only creatures of habit, but we are driven by pain or pleasure. When life becomes too painful, that is when we seek change.
Temporarily, we may only seek relief, but if we want the pain to go away through lasting change, we usually must be pushed to our limits to take positive action.
Why I Love a Guided Meditation
For me, having the guided meditation was a simple way for me to meditate on God. It helped me to instantly relax and focus my attention to be at peace in God’s presence.
While that meditation was helpful, it had a mantra (using an ohm sound) which I wasn’t crazy about. I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I pondered about creating my own.
Having just watched a beautiful concert at our church, performed by a very talented musician friend, I casually mentioned to him that I was thinking about creating a meditation CD. His immediate response was, “Let’s do it!” Just like that, I was in the studio producing my first CD, “Be still and know that I am God,” using Psalm 46:10. Let it Go and Trust came after.
How Meditating on God Has Changed My Life
I like to say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. Until you are quiet and still, you can’t give God (or anyone) your full attention.
Quieting my mind has allowed me to listen. It’s allowed me to no longer react to situations but to respond in a positive way.
I’m a better listener to everyone around me. My mind, body, and spirit are peaceful.
Because I can listen to God’s voice, I’m able to make better decisions and have greater clarity to be guided in the right direction.
You can experience this too when you choose to meditate on God.
If you find it hard to quiet your mind, these guided meditations can help. Do you meditate on God? If so, what has been your experience? I’d love for you to share it in the comment section below.