How are you at paying attention? I don’t know about you but for me I can pay attention quite a bit – at least to things that are geared towards my interests or that I’m really wanting to learn about – but whenever I’m not getting that instant gratification we are trained to want in today’s world, I can really struggle to pay attention. I don’t want to give my attention if I’m not instantly getting back. Perhaps you find yourself in the same place. As humans we form these deep neurological pathways in our brain when we constantly give into instant gratification and make that same decision many times. We constantly give ourselves exactly what we want – no waiting. But today I’d like to give you a tool that will help get you out of this mindset. It will force you into a position where you can form some new neurological pathways. Today, we’re talking about the practice of meditation. 

Now when you think about meditation, you might picture some dude crossing his legs sitting on a mat just constantly saying “hummmmmmm,” or “inner peace.” That comes mostly from 

Hollywood’s depiction of Eastern meditation but I’d like to talk about biblical meditation. People much smarter than me describe Biblical meditation like this: to gaze upon God. To look at God intently. This is an action that requires us to slow down, it’s not something that gratifies your desires instantly! The most common analogy whenever people are describing meditation is a cow chewing cud. If you didn’t know, cows chew their food multiple times. They just keep coming back to this same bit of food, chewing it, then digesting it a little, then bringing it back up and chewing it again. While this may not seem glamorous or exciting, it’s an incredibly important picture of biblical meditation. Whenever we come back to the same idea again and again, we are leaning into depth of insight rather than finding something quick and interesting that we can just grab on to and run with. Meditation is taking something and thinking through again and again: what can I learn even deeper about this? 

You’ve probably heard, “meditate on the scriptures day and night.” That idea is not about taking huge chunks of scripture and quickly scanning for insights but rather taking a verse (or a few verses) that speaks to you and coming back to it again and again. But meditation works with other mediums as well! We don’t just do this just with scripture. You can meditate on nature (literally gazing at God’s creation) or even thoughts about God (his characteristics). You might walk past my office during the week and see me just staring off into the distance, maybe scratching my chin and thinking. It may not look productive, but it’s often in those moments where I’m thinking through some idea about what God is trying to say that I can make a deeper connection. It’s certainly not that instant gratification! Rarely do I instantly get an epiphany straight from God that helps me finish a sermon. But in the slowness, God really starts to reveal and connect things that I didn’t see before because I took the time to let him speak and to hear his whisper. 

If you’ve decided you want to take up meditation and seek a depth of insight in knowing God, you might ask “how do I do this?” Well first you need to carefully select a location. This world is full of things that are competing for your attention. We need to be able to get away from that. Find a place where you can be free of distraction and eliminate all other voices in your life for a moment. Then you need to select the thing you want to meditate on. Whether that be a verse of scripture, a short passage, a hike that you enjoy, something about God that has just been intriguing to you lately, something that spoke to you in a message that is catching your attention: and sit with it. Sit with it and plan to be there awhile. Then, come back to it again at another time. And then again.

There’s a lot about God that is simple and easy to understand, but there’s even more about God that is a mystery, that takes a lot of time and effort to see the depth of. This week would you join me in meditating on a God who is infinitely knowable and unknowable at the same time. Who is incredibly deep and mysterious. Join me in leaving the distractions behind for just a second, in order to be entirely focused on the God we love to serve. 


Pick a focus: Here are some ideas for you to meditate on: 

Your favorite natural view within driving distance 

Your own relationship with God 

A Psalm or other passage that depicts an interesting characteristic of God 

A verse that sticks out to you in your reading 

Something about God you love 

Something about God you don’t quite understand 

Pick a location: Find somewhere you have minimal distractions, and then remove any others if possible. You will want to find somewhere you can continue to come back to and spend a considerable amount of time at. 

Repeat: This whole meditation process is meant for repetition. If you don’t repeat, you haven’t truly meditated.