Meditation 3

So why the big interest in “meditation”? It is, after all, a spiritual ‘discipline’ … and I can’t speak for anyone else but self discipline is the hardest. Meditation requires me to do something I’m not very good at: sit still.

I need to sit still so that I will be able to search my heart with honesty. In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah (Psalm 4:4)

I need to sit still so that I can perceive His guidance. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:2-3)

I need to sit still so I can observe the victorious reign  of God in a broken war-torn world, and seek refuge in Him alone. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. (Psalm 46:9-11)

Foster makes the point that the practice of spiritual disciplines cannot be made into law, for then they become drudgery. But he does offer suggestions on the ‘how’ of meditation. I would like to hear your experience on things like …

TIME. How important is it to have a specific time? Perhaps only as it relates to the opportunity to have a quiet moment. What is a good time for you? How long does it take to meditate?

PLACE. Is there a place of beauty? A place where there are no interruptions? A place that is not cluttered and ‘busy’, but rather calm and compelling? I would like to hear about your places for quiet meditation.

FOCUS. Is there something on which you can focus? A painting that captures your heart? A candle burning with both bright light and calming aroma? A particular Bible that in itself is meaningful to you?

POSTURE. There are no rules. Are your eyes closed? Hands on your knees with palms upward? Are you in a posture in which you can say you are paying attention, and not just drifting off into daydream world?

PURPOSE. Meditation is not just for the purpose of doing it. It is for the purpose of drawing us closer to God. It is practical in the greatest sense, but not necessarily producing a ‘how to’ list. It allows us to be aware of God’s nearness. It also places our attention on the spiritual matters going on around us.

Do we feel we must avoid meditation for some reason or another?

*** Links & Thoughts ***

Four were eliminated tonight on American Idol. As survial of the fittest takes over, the worst four were cut. There are others coming next, but the final performances proved that America has spoken, and she was right.

Pray for Cynthia. Here with a Candianian University work crew, she received word this morning that her father passed away. I drove her to Hattiesburg this afternoon to connect with some others who will help her get back to near Toronto. Pray for her journey and also for her peace of heart.

Part of the work crew here now has placed tile in two classrooms and today may have started down the South hall at Central. This, in addition to helping at least five families move back into their homes. Awesome week.

From backstage at WordPress: For those following along at home, we’re now powered by 152 physical processors, 511 gigabytes of memory (RAM), 174 hard disks with several terabytes of storage, and we’re adding new servers constantly. Why are you still using blogger?

Ben Overby on why people are not for competition, but for companionship.

Tim Rush on our nostalgia for what never did happen.

Are there ways that Christians sometimes try to keep God in a box?

Some things I need to say: Arby’s new fish sandwhich is AWFUL. It was two bites and in the garbage can. It even smelled bad. Who wants to buy a fish sammich from a roast beef place anyway? What to get instead: Martha’s Vineyard salad … it is AWESOME! Almond slivers, dried cranberries, cheese, lettuce, grilled chicken, tomatoes, chunks of apple… I love it. Wendy’s new pecan and cranberry salad? I choked it down today, but I would call it DREADFUL. Best salad in town? The one I make for myself at Ruby Tuesday’s, especially alongside a grilled chicken sammich on wheat bun with brown rice, tomatoes and cheese on the side instead of fries. Second runner up is the grilled chicken salad at Cracker Barrel. I have to watch CB, though, because this month they have that fantastic coca-cola cake … I cannot resist. Ok, enough of my food reviews.

Bad TV News: Tonight was the last episode of The O.C. Not that I ever watched it. I just shiver to think of what program of descending morals will replace it.

Thanks for reading!

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