I posted this three years ago. It was part of a series of posts on the practice of Christian meditation. Back then, mindfulness wasn’t even the buzzword it is now.
The lack of response from Christians regarding their own historical practice of meditation and mindfulness is concerning. Grown Up Christians have so much to bring to the table on this topic but we are largely silent. Maybe republishing these posts will help spark some thought and discussion.
So I started meditating regularly at the beginning of this year. As I mentioned in the last post, the podcasts I was listening to kept bringing it up. I knew that if these atheistic practitioners were getting benefit out of their version of meditation, then what kind of benefit could I get from not just slowing my breathing and focusing my mind but actually inviting God to be present, to speak, to work in me in a powerful way.
I knew I needed help with where to get started, so I picked up Richard Foster’s book, Sanctuary of the Soul. I wrote down all of the methods and practices that surfaced in Foster’s book, from praying a Psalm to beholding nature, and committed to try one of these practices for 10 minutes a day.
The practices are not as important as the fact that I am intentional every morning at encountering God. I spend much of my time beholding God’s glory and greatness. Sometimes that leads to confession on my part, sometimes that leads to an inspired task to do later in the day, and sometimes I just try to savor who God is and am in awe that he cares anything about me.
I am not really that good at it. It takes much of my time just to be able to get my mind from going in a million different directions. I have extended past 10 minutes many times, not because I am having a wonderfully rich experience, but because I wasted so much time on getting my mind to slow down in order to focus on God.
Something has changed since I started practicing meditation.
I can’t really explain it. What I can say is that it has given me a place to return to during my day. I take the calmness and the assuredness I get from God during my meditation to the rest of my day. I am not swayed as much by the swivel of good and bad that an ordinary day brings, because I know, from my time with God, that I am loved and that God is a great God. That knowledge alone consistently teaches me to trust God in all circumstances.
I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t be relaunching this blog and writing consistently if it wasn’t for this intentional practice of meditation. I can say with confidence that some of the successes I have had professionally and personally have come from this practice.
It is not a magic exercise, but it has given me such a sense of God moving and working in my life that my faith has grown and I have learned to listen and trust God in a way that hasn’t happened in years.
Meditation has been a game changer for me. It can be for you as well.
Next time, I will provide a brief method of meditation that you can try.