“Whereas the study of Scripture centers on exegesis, the meditation of Scripture centers on internalizing and personalizing the passage. The written Word becomes a living word addressed to you. This is not a time for technical studies, or analysis, or even the gathering of material to share with others. Set aside all tendencies toward arrogance and with a humble heart receive the word addressed to you.” Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline
How is your reception? I remember when I was a kid turning a dial on a pair of ‘rabbit ears’ sitting on top of the television. This action, combined with manipulating two extended antennae could possibly result in greater reception. This could even be improved by wrapping the ends of each antennae with aluminum foil! The advent of cable and satellite television has eradicated this ancient practice. However, even one blessed to have satellite can find themselves looking around for something to do during a long rainy thunderstorm. When reception dips below an acceptable level, there is no more connection. The product is dead.
Can we admit that we live in the midst of a long rainy thunderstorm and our reception fades at times? We’ve all become excellent multi-taskers. With just a lower level of acceptable quality, quantity can be increased significantly. This works in some settings, but not in the kingdom. Moder believers cannot accept meditation because it seems that there should be something else going on also. To sit and quietly contemplate our life in God seems like such a waste. After all, while you’re doing that, you could be folding the towels or taking out the garbage or checking your e-mail or reading this blog.
Perhaps the major hope of meditation is to be sure that we have not clouded our reception with God. Our interests are not usually geared to the quiet or the subtle. We live in a loud world and the loudest voice has us. That is, unless we discovered through experience the life-change that can be brought about in this sacred hour. Perhaps we hear from God in a hundred inadvertent ways, but when do we ever purposefully stop our exciting lives to give God our undivided attention? Meditation answers that question.
Meditation sets spiritual life in motion. There is no opening prayer and closing prayer. There is no ‘bring us back again at the next appointed time’. For the things that we learn in our time with God will color our day. We will see God at work in the corners of our lives. The places that we used to glance over are now alive with His energy. No… they are not now alive. We only now see them. Our spiritual walk with God is different than it used to be. We have stepped out of the Matrix.
Foster’s last statement is the one that stings the most. Am I really all that smart? Shouldn’t I find it necessary to allow God to speak His will into my heart? I pray that God will give us all good reception, and that we will all yield to those signals which come from Him.
***Links & Thoughts***
Books I received in the mail this week include…
I’m sure I’ll be quoting from them in days to come.
Volunteer groups from Illinois left tonight after a gumbo supper. They were very expressive of how much the mission to the Coast meant to them. The group from Pennsylvania will leave in the morning following breakfast. Next week we will have about 50 Amish workers here – all skilled labor. I expect an incredible amount of work to be accomplished!