This post was contributed by Jeremiah Chandler, a former intern at Sho.resh. We are so excited to have him share with us today!
Meditation, a curious practice. I do not know your experience with it. However, confusion always surrounded it in my younger years. For one of my classes at University, my professor assigned me the task to meditate on 4 different passages, for three to four weeks at a time, and to conclude with an essay summation of our experience. While 30 minute, daily meditations did not seem like too big of a task, I found the assignment much more difficult than anticipated. However, three different tricks helped me center my focus on the passage, engaging the text in ways I had not before.
Journal, journal, journal
Now when I say journal, I do not mean simply writing your mind the entire time you are supposed to be meditating. Yet, what I usually find myself doing is noting down important things to be praying for myself and the people around me.
For example, these verses impacted me greatly. So, I wrote them down multiple times throughout my journal, attempting to put them to memory.
“Return to your rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”
“In my distress, I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.”
Conclusively at the end of your journaling time, you have a beautiful compilation of prayers to finish your time of meditation.
Repeat the words to yourself until you understand
In a busy society where obligations demand our attention and deadlines screeeaaam our names, one must create a space where we are not rushing through the word. Allotting thirty minutes to rest with the word allows us to engage the text without feeling like we do not have the time to do so.
For my class assignment, I read the six verses of Psalm I for three weeks. As you could imagine, I knew what it said pretty well. I could recite its words even after the first week. However, the Holy spirit promises to bring life to the word of God, refreshing its readers and blessing those who “on his law, meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2) - see what I did there?
Make time to Respond to the text
After reading through the passage for about 25 minutes, I respond for the last five. For me, each time I meditated and even from person to person, this always always always looks differently. Sometimes, I would see an image in my mind and I would simply draw it in my journal. Other times I would write out a letter to God, simply speaking my mind about the text, engaging him with the text. Or, I simply sit in the silence, creating space for God to speak or to sit in the words of God.
For meditation, everyone’s experience is different. Some swear by it, others run from it. But, I do not think we should dismiss its importance, nor ignore the Bible’s accounts of people doing it. Just how it read in my very first meditation assignment in Psalm I,
“For his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night”
. . .
Let us know your experience meditating on the Bible! I’ll share the first couple of scriptures we were assigned, they have a good sequence!
5 times a week
- Week 1-3: Psalm 1
- Week 4-6: Psalm 119
- Week 7-9: John 1
- Week 10-12: 1 Corinthians 15
Get in your Bible!
Some verses for your pondering, as you begin your meditation:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”
2 Timothy 3:16
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”