This week Norma Jean and I are enjoying a family vacation at the beach with the kids and grandkids. Not only is it a wonderful time for family bonding and relaxing, but a great place for meditation.
It occurred to me yesterday morning as I was reading from the Psalms how appropriate the setting was for the Scriptures I was contemplating. With a peaceful view of the Gulf, it’s a great place to meditate on God. His goodness. His power. His beauty. His Word. His works. And His Awesomeness.
The Psalmist often speaks of the importance of meditation.
Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
Meditation is a lost virtue. In our hectic, fast-paced culture, we find ourselves with jam-packed schedules, demanding agendas, and never-ending task lists. We are constantly on the go. And it seems our technology, which is supposed to make life easier, has added to the endless bombardment of information. Now on our iPhones we constantly receive texts, check our email, and update our facebook account. Even vacations which are supposed to be a time to unwind and relieve stress are too often filled with so many activities that there is little time to really relax and spend time in meditation.
Dee Bowman was right when he wrote, “Meditation is vital to spiritual development.” To grow spiritually we need time for reflection. Time to ponder. Contemplate. And ruminate. To “meditate” means to think about something quietly and at length. The 18th-century British minister, William Grimshaw said meditation “is the soul’s chewing.”
So how do we chew?
1. We must determine to devote some time to meditation. It is a decision we make.
2. Meditation requires purpose. Resolve. Intent. And self-discipline.
3. You need something to chew on! Something to ponder. A Psalm. A verse. A spiritual idea. A divine thought.
4. Find a place of solitude. Be quiet. “Be still,” Jehovah implores, “and know that I am God.” Thomas Carlyle put it this way, “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.”
5. Relax. Decompress. Unwind. The Bible says Isaac went out into the field in the evening to meditate (Gen. 24:63). You may not have a field or a beach, but find a place to relax! Schedule a day, a weekend, or vacation where you can unwind.
In Psalm 119, David speaks of the value of meditating on God’s Word, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (v.15). He said meditating on the Word of God:
1. Supplied counsel in the face of criticism. (V.23)
2. Refocused his thoughts on the wonder of God’s works (v. 27)
3. Increased his longing for Divine Counsel (v. 48)
4. Helped him make godly decisions (v. 59).
5. Assisted in overcoming attitudes of acrimony, resentment, and rancor.
6. Motivated him to make God’s Word his daily companion. (v 97)
7. Provided unique insight, understanding, and education (v. 99).
Through meditation, we can reconnect with God. Reflect on what is really important. Restore balance to our lives. Relate knowledge to practical application. And rediscover God’s purpose for our existence.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman