What do you meditate on? I think about a lot of things—some good, some not so good, some healthy, some unhealthy; I’m sure the same could be said of most of us, but meditating is a little different. Meditating is an extension of general thinking and is actually very important. Now, before we go any further, it might be very apropos to divide the world’s general understanding of meditating from what our understanding needs to be.
The world’s version can be profoundly confusing. It may often be associated with things we’ve seen in a variety of situations, including what we’ve seen on media—perhaps chanting, specialized breathing, placing the body in certain physical positions, attempts of “clearing out the mind”, etc, all with the end goal of reaching some kind of esoteric “awareness” or a transcendental hope of an “enlightenment”, but the general and basic use of the word simply means to think about something deeply and carefully, to contemplate it and ponder it. That’s it.
If this is true, and in its simplest form meditating means that we need to consider at length and with great depth an idea or concept, then it means we actually don’t want to create a “clearing out” of the mind but that we indeed need our whole self to be present—fully aware mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.
That being said, the Bible makes repeated references to meditating—in its most basic and proper form: “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Psalm 143:5 (NIV); “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)…and so many more.
I lay all the groundwork for “meditating” merely because of this scripture right here: “Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.” Psalm 48:9 This verse hit me so acutely recently. When I read it, it struck me in two different ways: #1 What do we meditate on when we come together to worship at church? And #2 What do we meditate on in our own hearts and minds daily?
Technically, and blessedly, because of Christ and His work on the cross and His work in us, we are the temple—the temple of the Holy Spirit…the place where God’s Presence dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19). What we meditate on daily matters. According to Psalm 48:9, we are to meditate on God’s unfailing love… So whether we are at the physical place we gather called “church” worshiping and learning, or whether we are on our own living our daily life—work, errands, family dinners, etc—we are to be meditating on the great and far-reaching love of God.
And this should not be difficult because His love has kept us through so many trials, has lifted us up when our heads were drooping low because of sadness, depression, frustrations and anger. His love is what drew us to Him—out of the darkness and into the light. His love is what has sustained us day-by-day and what has birthed in us joy when there was none to be had.
Today, as we engage in life—at church, at home, etc—let’s remember to redirect our thoughts when they go astray or dwell on fruitless things. Let’s not “check-out” mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well as physically, but instead let’s focus in on and deeply consider the magnificent unfailing love of God.
FBC Aztec Member