Day 4

Starting to meditate

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Christian meditation is unlike eastern meditation, which is becoming popular. Whereas eastern meditation is more about emptying one’s mind, Christian meditation is about filling oneself with the word of God. It is a time when we can refocus our attention on Jesus and start to realign our thoughts with Christ’s.

I remember when I first thought about doing meditation, I decided against it. My attention wanders and I’m very bad at doing tasks that I think of as ‘mundane’, which is why when I tackled the washing up today I discovered a couple of mouldy bowls.

Still, let’s start small. I guess it’s a little like flexing an arm muscle you don’t often use? You don’t want to start using said muscle to lift weights that are too heavy; rather you build the muscle up. Equally, when you’re starting to meditate I suggest start small. Begin with meditating for ten minutes a day on a verse.

Please remember, though, meditation isn’t something you need to do in order for God to love you or view you as acceptable. Rather, meditation is a means of helping us to fill our minds with thoughts that are Christ-centred and to replace the rubbish in our noggins with substance that is good and blessed.

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Experience

It’d be interesting to know your experiences with regards to meditation. If you wanted to write a sentence each day about your daily meditation experience over the following week and then post it below, that would be great. It might encourage future readers of this blog or your future self. The following is my experience of meditating for seven days:

1st Day

Was tricky to concentrate and thoughts wandered throughout. I whispered ‘ma-ra-na-tha’ (‘Come, Lord’, Aramaic from Jesus’ time) over and over again, try to focus on that. I kept looking at the time, until I felt being asked whether this was about ‘filling ten minutes’ or ‘getting closer to God’.

2nd Day

For some reason, today I am very tired. Consequently, found meditation pretty hard, so I swapped between ‘Shalom’ (‘Peace’) and ‘maranatha’. Sadly, it was more about ‘filling ten minutes’ today.

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(NOTE: After coming across a website called bible.org, I’ve decided to not repeat the word ‘Shalom’ or ‘maranatha’ over and over again but to mull and chew on words that reflect God, or just to listen to worship music, ditch the frustrations and confusions within me and take in the truth about God found in the lyrics.)

3rd Day

Today, when it came to meditation and clearing the rubbish from my mind, I reflected over the first half of Psalm 43:3 (New Living Translation):

Send out your light and your truth;
let them guide me.

A couple of hours prior to the meditation, I felt like I’d wasted my day and had self-imploded. However, during the meditation (even though it was done walking to my mate’s) I felt invigorated. I confessed my mistakes to God and then mulled over what the ‘truth’ and ‘light’ of God are: love, justice, forgiveness, mercy, patience were the five words that came to mind.

4th Day

This morning, I was late to church. There’s nothing new there, and I don’t recommend getting into that habit… Anyway, on my walk I remembered how much joy and satisfaction I now receive from concentrating on meditation: on mulling over a couple of words that reflect more of God and less of me. So, I reflected on the way God is ‘truth’ and ‘light’. It was truly refreshing and was such a strong and fresh way to start the day.

5th Day

After a long and tiring day, including a confusing outing with a wonderful lady, and a session at a fitness club (which felt like mild torture for an hour), I decided to spend five minutes listening to the song above before reflecting on God’s grace for five minutes. It was peaceful and refreshing just mulling over how loving God is.

6th Day

Today, I didn’t meditate. After yesterday’s hard work at the fitness club followed by a late night and this morning’s forced early start, I was exhausted today. Consequently, I failed to meditate. I attempted to do so a couple of times but just couldn’t concentrate.

7th Day

I’m experiencing the negative effects of not spending time with God and being too tired to do anything properly. Consequently, it’s been a struggle with old habits but I managed to eventually meditate, spending five minutes clearing my mind of negative thoughts and then the following five minutes thinking on the following:

Psalm 46:1 (New Living Translation)
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.

This will be something that I will need to think and contemplate about further. I wasn’t fully alert to really take in the meditation but it has given me a fresh resolve, one that’s not from me.

After a week of starting to meditate and noticing the effect of not spending time with God yesterday, I shall continue to learn to meditate and try to form it into a habit.

 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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13 thoughts on “Day 4”

  1. What a variety of subjects! I like how every day has a different subject, from the serious and thought-provoking to the ones that make you laugh out loud. How do you pick the theme for your posts?

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  2. I know your struggle with the meditation, my friend. I try to adopt a similar strategy, i.e. one of spending focused time with God that isn’t necessarily structured, but doing so every day. I will admit that sometimes, my mind just isn’t on the ball and that this doesn’t happen every single day.

    A couple of things I have found that help me to regain focus: doing my meditation whilst performing a menial but necessary task, such as the washing up (I meditate while doing this at work, for instance), and also having a short session of worship to focus your mind on God. Sometimes when doing the latter, I find that the Spirit leads me to simply carry on in worship, which sort of becomes the meditation in its own right.

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  3. Really enjoyed reading this post. Always good to be reminded that Christian meditation is about thinking about the Bible rather than emptying our minds or doing something more mystical. Keep up the good work!

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  4. Hey ho (warning, this is gonna be a looooong comment). This post was reeeeeeally interesting and good. 🙂 One thing that came to mind when reading this was the way Puritans did meditation (or at least I think it was the Puritans). (I tried to look up the specifics on the internet but all the information was way too dense for my brain to handle so everything I say might be lies). I think the method they did was; pray, read a sermon/passage of Scripture, pick a verse from it, memorise it, then pick a key theme in the sermon/passage/verse. Then unpack the theme by thinking about; references made to it in the Bible, characteristics, names, results, causes, opposites, reasons, fruits, etc in regards to the theme. Then think about how this fitted with their life and if there was anything they needed to change/do. And then they finished with some more prayer. 🙂

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  5. I’m loving these honest posts Dave, thought provoking and timely reminders in all them. Re meditation and wandering minds….its normal for our minds to wander, and waffle, the thing is, is to notice that they’ve wandered and gently and graciously lead them back!

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