The afternoon sun beat down onto my back through the western window where I sat slumped at the rear of the training room. It was warm and I was lazy. Three days of intense instruction had frayed my mind and now I needed rest. My heavy eyes drooped and my ears no longer tuned into the lecturer’s droning voice.
The subject was Leading and Managing People. The first day had been spent discussing leadership, the second management and the third day focused on us, the individuals, and how we needed to “know ourselves” with a “deeper awareness”. It was very flaky and I found myself drifting off often.
“Close your eyes,” said the lecturer to the class (finally something I wanted to do), “and picture another you far away in the middle of the universe…”
“This isn’t right?” I thought to myself after a while as I straightened in my chair and opened my eyes to observe the other 60 learners being guided through a 25 minute self actualization ritual.
Later, over coffee, I asked a guy who goes to a good church up the road what he thought of the show.
“Wow, good to great!” came an enthusiastic response.
My brow furrowed as I pushed, “You didn’t think it all a bit… New Age?”
“No, not at all. It reminded me of contemplative prayer and meditation. You know, that deep spiritual stuff.”
I’ve been thinking about what meditation is to a Christian this evening. The first time that we come across the word is in Genesis. The text says that Isaac,
In the Psalms David uses a word translated as meditate a dozen or so times. My favourite Psalm describes a righteous man as someone who’s,
And in the New Testament, Paul, writing a letter which deals largely with doctrine and the accurate handling of Scripture, exhorts Timothy to,
“What is meditation,” you may ask, “How is it Biblically defined?”
Biblically speaking meditation (in the Old Testament) carries with it a sense of talking, muttering or conversation. It’s a form of prayer to be sure. It is not incorrect to also add to that a sense of musing, pondering or contemplation. We might say, “chew on this” or, “think on these things” to convey the idea.
Almost all 18 references to meditation or meditate that are found in the Old Testament have a very tight relationship to Scripture. For example the Children of Israel are told that the, “…book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…” Psalm 19, which deals largely with Scripture and the beauty of it, ends with this prayer, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” This certainly is an appropriate way to approach God and His Word.
Nowhere in Scripture is there any indication that meditation involves visualising, repetition or the use of mantras or any other Eastern Religious influenced rituals or rights.
“So, how can I, as a Christian, meditate?”
Well grab a Bible. Find a praise Psalm (Psalm 145 would be a great place to start). Read it, mull over it, study it, think on it, understand it, chew on it and pray to God all the while. That’s it, that’s meditation.
For more go and check out
I read a quote on Facebook this evening which struck me, although I do not know who to attribute it to, “Discernment isn’t spotting the difference between right and wrong, it’s spotting the difference between right and almost right”