M&M: Why?? The Importance of Meditating
The Importance of Meditating
I have been doing M&M’s for the last couple of years. It has been my desire to inspire women to meditate and memorize God’s word. So many women have shared with me how doing the M&M each month has blessed them and subsequently their families.
This last Sunday the Pastor at our church, Dr. Alex Kennedy, began a series on spiritual disciplines. Guess what he started with? That’s right. Meditation. I thought that he had some great points, so I have decided to share them with you here. I have expanded on his outline with additional thoughts and Scripture.
First of all, it is important to define meditation. It means to ponder, muse, consider, ruminate, or consider something or someone, a circumstance, problem, choice, decision, or obstacle. Meditating means to think about, to think through, to think deeply.
Meditation isn’t something you do accidently or passively; it is something that you do intentionally and actively. Meditating requires a decision, time, and quiet. Since those three items are in such high demand for every person, meditating gets shoved to the bottom of the list, pushed aside for seemingly more important or urgent issues.
But meditating is important; it is urgent. Given our busy, highly-connected, exhausting lives, we could all use a break down a tranquil path with only birds singing overhead, without our phones, without the rings, beeps, and buzzing that harass us every moment. Our eyes have fallen down causing us to shuffle, rush, and even panic because we’ve lost our vision.
How do we stop the madness? How do we restore peace? Order? Joy? It might sound impossible, but I would suggest it’s not. It is more than possible. All this is promised as a by product when we choose to live as a “tree firmly planted by streams of water.” According to Psalm 1 the key is to meditate on His law both day and night.
“No, thanks,” you reply. “Meditate on the law? Day and night? No thanks. I’ve got other more important and pressing things to do. For that matter I have more interesting things to do. That sounds profoundly boring.”
I get it. Really I do. I’ll grant you that on the outset, it sounds boring and totally uninteresting. But step back for a moment. The psalmist is suggesting that we consider the love of God for us. To ponder His care for us, His plan for us, His desire for relationship with us, His encouragement for us, the strength, hope, mercy, and grace that He desires to extend to us. These are the insights we receive when we meditate on the law.
The Law (otherwise known as the Torah of the Old Testament) was expanded to 613 rules with which the Pharisees burdened the people. When Jesus arrived on the scene, He reduced the long list to two. These two greatest commandments encompassed, summarized, and simplified matters. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your strength, and with all of your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:28-31)
Now that is worth meditating on. The summation of the law and the prophets, summed up in one word: love. Imagine how it would change the world if we meditated on loving the Lord and each other. Take the words of Jesus and contemplate what they mean: You shall; love; the Lord; your God; with all; your heart, and so on. Those are words that are nourishing and productive. Those are words that change hearts, minds, actions, and words. Those are world-changing words. Those are words worth meditating on.
And those are just the beginning. The Bible is filled with life-changing, choice-altering, action-inspiring words, phrases, and passages. The word of the Lord is alive and active. In Deuteronomy 31, Moses said these are not idol words. This is your life.
This is the why of the monthly M&M’s. Because meditating on truth changes everything. It changes your perspective, your attitude, your life. It changes your focus, your marriage, your parenting. It changes you as a son, a daughter, a neighbor, a friend. In the words of Lee Iacocca: “This changes everything”. Meditation matters.
- Meditation on His Word. It’s timeless and unchanging. Having read it through I can say that when I read it again, I come across passages I don’t remember being there last time. But here’s the deal. It was there, but I wasn’t where I am now. The Holy Spirit guides and teaches as we read, study, and meditate. Truth doesn’t change, but our understanding of it expands and deepens as we dare to marinate in it.
- Meditation on His Creation. In Romans 1, Paul writes that man is “without excuse.” The evidence of God’s handiwork surrounds us. Just like the great paintings of Da Vinci point to a master painter, the rose, the sunset, the forest, the hummingbird, the lion all point to a master Creator. We need to take time to meditate on the wonders of creation. Ponder the precision of a spider’s web, the fluttering of the butterflies delicate wings, the instinct of the polar bear. Consider the uniqueness of water, the perfect tilt and gravity and atmosphere of the Earth, the specific mixture of chemical components of the air we breathe. Children are amazed everyday at lizards and frogs. A child-like faith and wonder would serve us well to recapture.
Meditation on His Faithfulness. Just like Scripture is unchanging and creation is full of evidence of His creativity, our lives testify to His faithfulness. As believers we can recall situations when we are confident He walked us through, held us, defended us, guided us. We cannot deny His mercy, grace, and love. Most of us can recount huge life events, but what about the everyday ones? What about His faithfulness in His provision for our everyday needs, our beds, food, and clothing? What about our families, friends, and neighbors? What about our health? And what’s more, what about those areas where we are lacking and He is enough. He is our vision. He is our Father. He is our Redeemer. His faithfulness is worth not only our meditation, but also our sharing with others. These are the stories we will share forever in glory. In Heaven we will be reunited with friends and family. We will meet new friends and for all of eternity we will share stories of what He did, how He glorified Himself, how He grew us. We will never run out of stories to share as we worship the King of glory!
Join me next week as we continue with The Importance of Meditation – Part 2.