I used to be wary of meditation.
I didn't give it much thought apart from a quiet acceptance of the fact that it wasn't something a Christian practiced. My devotional times with God had looked different over the years. But at one point, I came to terms with a thought that had previously only lurked in the backrooms of my heart - in my daily walk with God, I was just going through the motions.
Going through the motions like that old married couple sitting in a restaurant avoiding eye contact; looking at other people, the menus, and their phones, eating dinner in almost complete silence. Unfortunately that's where I felt I was with God...too afraid to gaze into His eyes... too afraid of the silence and the magnitude of its potential. I had managed—in the midst of all the spiritual activity—to avoid truly engaging God's Spirit. I envied Christians who seemed to ooze intimacy with God as if they were sitting across from Jesus at a candlelit table, clearly in love. I knew I wanted that, but didn't know how to get there.
If I'm honest, it had a lot to do with an incorrect perception of how God viewed me. I thought that God was mostly disappointed in me and I believed that if I was quiet, I'd hear all the ways that I didn't measure up. So I often filled that time with spiritual busyness, or avoided it all together.
Thanks be to God for the revelation of TRUE GRACE...the good news that when God looks at me, He sees the perfection of Jesus and that because of Jesus' perfect life and his finished work at the cross, I don't have to work to earn God's favor. He doesn't hold a list of demands and expectations over my head. Instead, Jesus has fulfilled those expectations for me, and actually EMPOWERS me to live a TRANSFORMED LIFE of love in response to His goodness.
One day, as I walked the aisles of Barnes and Noble on a date with my husband, my eye caught sight of a book about meditation. I picked it up. It was a celebrity rapper who had written on the benefits of meditation in his life. I thumbed through it intrigued. Then I got to the "how-to" of meditation. Postures, mantras, mindsets...and I got scared. I can't do this stuff. I'm a Christian! Meditation is for new-age rappers, Hindus, and Yoga instructors at the YMCA. I put the book down and moved on. But the ponderings about meditation remained in my heart.
Something about meditation called to my spirit. Today I know it was God whispering to me about connecting with Him in a new way. But that first day that I tried it, all I felt was nervous and awkward. I locked my bedroom door, almost out of embarrassment. I didn't want anyone to walk in while I was...well…meditating!
I was so caught up in my thoughts that day. Where should I sit? Next to my bed I supposed. What should I listen to? Something that would drown out the deluge of busy thoughts that was sure to begin as soon as I sat quietly. So I found some instrumental relaxation melodies on YouTube. At first I was scared that even though there were no words to the music that somehow the melodies were aligned with some foreign god. I thought about my posture. I could lie down - but I was pretty sure I'd fall asleep. I could kneel, but that would hurt my knees. I tried to sit WITHOUT crossing my legs, so as to not seem so "new-agey", but that was uncomfortable and hurt my back. So I did cross my legs because that was the most comfortable, but I DID NOT put my fingers together on my knees because I didn't know what that meant, and I was sure that would be crossing some sort of line! So I sat. I breathed. I didn't hum or chant. I just waited. Waited for God to do something or to say something.
And God met me. He talked to me. He reminded me of stories and truths in the Bible, and then showed them to me played out like a feature film on the big screen of my mind. For over a year now, I've been experiencing His word and presence in this way, and it has caused wonderful fruit to grow in my life. A deeper belief of his truths, more of a child-like faith in His promises, a pervasive peace and calm in my everyday life, less fear of bad things happening, a sheep-like dependence on His guidance - and the list goes on!
For aIl these reasons, I'd like to invite you to join along in the journey! I promise that I am not the new celebrity rapper purporting the benefits of aligning your chakra. I am no meditation expert. But I do want to share this gift with you.
This is for you if -
Shortly after my first time (meditating that is)... God opened my eyes to realize that eastern religions and new-agers DO NOT have the corner market on meditation. In fact, the Bible is full of instructions to connect with Him through meditation.
It can change your life simply because spending time quietly contemplating and beholding WHO HE IS, ends up transforming you in ways that you've previously only dreamed of (and tried to work really hard for but could never quite attain).
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Seeing IS believing.