Have you ever had a thought to totally consume your mind where you just couldn’t get anything done or a song that was stuck in your head? It is like a consuming fire that is hard to put out. Why is it that the thoughts that we don’t want going through our minds spring up as weeds and the things we should be thinking of is covered with life’s day-to-day activities?
Have you ever heard of the “chill pill”? The chill pill is a term I use for calming yourself down. Meditation means to ponder on something with careful thought. It is taking time to be quiet and reflect on things without interruption. People who cannot calm their selves long enough for meditation find this quiet time hard to hear the voice of God because of the many thoughts that pour through their mind. Prayer time is a struggle for some Christians because of lack of concentration. Lack of concentration is due to lack of understanding why meditation is important (or prayer need) along with the discipline it takes. Meditation is a must for every Christian.
Many times I see people rely on preachers or pastors to give them a word from God through a message once a week. I also see in tradition where the leader will do the praying as if we rely on others to pray while agreeing with their prayer instead of praying ourselves. Some people will let other things consume their mind and time, which may have no purpose except for wasting time with information that has no value. They may read romance novels, watch soap operas or movies, stay on their computers, or talk on the phone yet they cannot spend time meditating on God with the excuse, “I have no time”.
Meditation is the key to obtaining an organized mind, inner balance, and spiritual awareness. Your perceptions will strengthen and all improvements of the self begin with meditating on the goodness of God and His Word. It is the foundation upon which you can build a strong spiritual presence. No matter how much we may wish to be good, if we cannot change the desires that make us act the way we do, change will be difficult. Meditation in the sense of the relationship we have with Jesus helps to develop the awareness and God’s goodness needed to transform ingrained mental habit patterns. Meditation upon God and His word is important because it purifies the mind to allow us to perceive truth. Once we know the truth we can act in harmony with it.
When is the last time you took a walk by yourself or sat by yourself in a quiet room reflecting on God’s goodness? If you must get up ten minutes before anyone else does it will be worth the silence. I often found time just for myself in all the seasons of life. Even when the boys were babies, toddlers and teens, I made time for myself.
Meditation can improve mental sharpness, lower blood pressure, help you sleep better, and can also relieve stress and depression. The simple fact that meditation has the ability to help us turn down the volume inside our own minds–and turn off the negative thoughts and feelings we all experience is so freeing and peaceful. It is a time to just mellow out or “chill”. It quite literally gives us each the opportunity to wipe out negative, past programming and rewrite how our minds, bodies and spirits process information and react to our own environments the way God wants us to respond. As we become more aware of the troubling, pervasive thoughts that can sometime invade our minds when we least expect them, we can more easily shut them down and move on to a peaceful state of mind. It also helps us to calm ourselves down without the OMG drama queen reaction to situations. With meditation and thought we are offering ourselves a choice–do I want to live an abundant life, or do I want to dwell in negativity? Meditation can clarify, drawing us more deeply into our thoughts, to a place where we can see them for what they are, sort them out and make the best choices for ourselves in knowing what God’s will is for our lives. Once you begin to focus on the source and context of your thoughts, you can begin to heal and move away from the fear and negativity that we all feel some days, and lead a more productive, positive life in full awareness. Journaling is a good practice for meditation and it helps you see a pattern for the way you think. This way you can address each issue, talk to God by writing your thoughts and move forward into the present. You’ll find yourself forgiving yourself and others for past pains and transgressions, and will begin living a fuller, happier life–today. It can help combat stress, fosters physical health, helps with chronic pain, can make you sleep better, feel happier, be more peaceful, as well as be present.
When starting out with meditation, don’t beat yourself up about your wild mind. It is a natural condition. In time you will learn to work kindly with the barrage of thoughts and you will some clarity and peacefulness. Here are some simple tips on how to start meditating. It’s difficult to settle into meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions. This is because some emotions tend to breed stories in the mind. Especially anger, shame and fear create stories that repeat over and over in the mind. Anger and shame make us keep looking at past events of the past. Fear looks at the future with stories that start with, “What if…” . Let go of the stories and refocus on God’s love, peace and forgiveness and how He wants you to be complete and whole in Him. He wants you to trust Him and rely on Him. He wants all of you, especially your thoughts.
Silence is healing. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment. Begin meditation at least for 10 minutes a day. Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you are not ready to do that. In time you might like to extend your meditation to 25 minutes. Do not let it hinder your prayer time, meditation is not all prayer but a part of prayer. Meditation is reflecting not asking. Most of all it’s important to enjoy meditation. You might like to try sitting with a hint of a smile. Be kind to yourself. Start sitting just a little each day. It’s helpful to establish a daily habit. I find myself wondering where the time has gone. When you take time to be in His presence it gets quite addicting!
What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart. By meditation on God’s testimonies we understand more than our teachers, when we understand our own hearts. The written word is a more sure guide to heaven, than all the fathers, the teachers, and ancients of the church. The way of sin is a wrong way; and the more understanding we get by the precepts of God, the more rooted will be our hatred of sin; and the more ready we are in the Scriptures, the better furnished we are with answers to temptation or those crazy thoughts the enemy shoots into our minds.
God’s glory is everlasting and man’s glory will always fade. There is joy in God. While He with pleasure upholds all, governs all, and rejoices in all his works, let our souls, touched by his grace, meditate on and praise him.
Psalm 104:34 My meditation of him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.
Remember when you find yourself under stress, can’t sleep or having crazy thoughts consume your mind, just take a “chill pill” and learn to meditate on God’s goodness and be thankful.