This week in the series on Habits of Grace we get a bit more practical. How do we align ourselves to better receive the grace we are freely given, how do we position ourselves to hear and see God more fully in the everyday?
Meditating on God’s word, thinking through what he’s saying and what it means. Chewing on it. Memorizing God’s word, memorizing his mind and voice, because he speaks to us first.
So here are my brief thoughts on these habits. Going forward with the study in real life, I’ve begun to read the bible every morning when I wake up. I sit at our dining room table, drink coffee with my husband, and read a chapter of Matthew, taking notes on things that stand out to me, things to chew on throughout the day.
Day 7 – Warm Yourself at the Fire of Meditation
I think meditation is a lost art because in the most global sense of the term as a culture it feels like we’ve grown very restless. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more these days. We are constantly in motion, in our minds and bodies. We’re very task-oriented, goal-oriented, point A to point B people. There has been an effort with the slow living movement to live more local, more aware, and more present in the everyday, but at times, we don’t seem to have the option to slow down as often as we may want. So the Christian art of meditating on God’s word, what he’s saying and what it means, is something we can carry through our whole day or week. That level of awareness permeates, or should permeate, our everyday lives. By taking the time to slow down in this way and meditate on God’s word, we are actively saying that this activity, these words will sustain me, and I trust that they will sustain me. It’s a physical way, possibly, to show and to live out our connection with God. Meditation shows a desire for understanding, not just hearing.
Often when I read and don’t meditate on the bible, I come away with my quotes for the day. Like wow this verse is cool and has great perspective. Or, wow, what a nice thing to say, Jesus. I’m often amazed at the imagery and not amazed at God. I should be centering myself around God’s voice.
Day 8 – Bring the Bible Home to Your Heart
In this chapter, I’m not sure that anything stood out to me brightly. I do wonder how bible reading is connected to inner life change, the work of the spirit. Is it that when we read the bible the spirit makes us aware of a link between ourselves and God’s voice? I know there are things I should probably change about my inner life, but I’ve been curious as to how that change actually takes effect. If it takes that constant awareness or pointedness towards the problem or if it’s more of a gradual lifting of heart change.
I did like that verse in the study book, James 1:22-25. I like the analogy of us looking into a mirror to remember what we look like. Except the bible is the mirror and our reflection in that mirror is God’s image. If we take our eyes off our reflection, we forget who we are and what our hearts should look like, our potential.
Day 9 – Memorize the Mind of God
I have tried to memorize scripture before. I tried memorizing Psalm 139, tried meditating as a way of memorization. I got about halfway. I felt a bit discouraged by memorization because I couldn’t get each word right according to my bible’s translation. I would switch two words, and I would think that I messed up. But really I got the essence of the thought right. It just shows how I’m discouraged by imperfection in myself a lot. And maybe because memorization didn’t come to me easily.
I did memorize a poem once in grad school and recited it in front of the class. I created a chain in my head of the images that read the story of those images. Maybe that’s just how my mind works. Meditating on the images. Could be something to take to a verse of Scripture to memorize.
For you: How do you feel about meditating and memorization? How could these areas take your walk further and deeper in your own life?