At the risk of being accused of being too Eastern, I’m going to talk about meditation. About a year ago, I realized that I felt constantly overextended and hurried. It didn’t matter what I was doing, inside I felt rushed because I had this huge list of things in my head that I was supposed to be doing and I had no time to do them. I had to find a way to be calm inside.
I’ve spent my life reading my Bible, participating in and leading Bible studies, and prayer is a constant companion. I have prayer journals, I send out the weekly prayer list from our women’s class at church, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t pray myself to sleep at night.
Meditation is not any of this.
Meditation is what happens when the alarm goes off in the morning and I get up 30 minutes before anyone else and I just sit. Sit and listen. Sit and possibly ponder the coming day, but not use mental energy to plan through it and decide the best strategy of attack. It’s the art of just being and not doing.
Meditation is also what happens later in the day when life does get overwhelming and I have to remind myself to calm down again. It’s focusing on my breathing and reminding myself that I am not God, I am not in control, and that it’s very possible that I do nothing about whatever is overwhelming me anyway.
Breathe in: Be still
Breathe out: and know
Breathe in: that he
Breathe out: is God.
Did I mention the tension headaches that have all but disappeared? Or the shoulders and neck that have relaxed enough I no longer feel the constant need for a chiropractor? Or the blood pressure that has lowered?
I’m not sure why western Christianity is so wary of discussing meditation. We talk about prayer, scripture memory, and lots and Bible study, but I now believe that meditation is the key to getting all of that knowledge from our heads down into our hearts. It’s the step that starts to change who we are as people. Yes, the tools have to be there — the internalizing of truth through knowing the Word and the communication with God that allows us to trust him with our quietness — but I feel that we often stop short of that final connection.
You can’t be still and know that he is God if you can’t even be still.