It's like clockwork. I sit down to meditate...I've told God that I'm here simply to sit with Him and listen...I've stilled and settled my body with some slow, deep breaths...and BAM! God-only-knows how many minutes I've been sitting there thinking about some random distracting thought like what groceries I need to order from Walmart that day! A surge of frustration hits, and I feel like meditation is useless and I'm sitting here for nothing!
Have you experienced something similar? Please tell me I'm not alone in this (lie to me if you have to)! I imagine for some, it's the very reason they give up on trying to meditate at all. Or maybe it's the reason you've never started. If you're new to meditation click here.
Quieting your soul can be tough! Especially if you don't already have a habit of doing it regularly. It's why meditation is considered a practice...it takes practice! The Bible says to take our thoughts captive, but how do we actually do that? There are a handful of mental images God gave me that have been a great help. Here's one:
When I finally realize that I'm meditating on groceries instead of God, I bring that thought front and center: "groceries". Then, I put it in a bubble. And with my next exhale, I send that bubble floating up to the surface of the water. I see it wafting up and away from me and I acknowledge in that moment, that if it's something important, it'll be waiting for me when I'm done. Most the time though, those stressful little thoughts dissipate for good.
So the next time a distracting thought tries to steal your quiet moment, put it in a bubble and send it floating away. You'll probably have to do this a bunch of times, but don't be discouraged. This is you, living the Bible out in real life. Taking thoughts captive and setting your gaze on the beauty of the Lord. Imagine the beauty we'll see and the peace we'll experience, when we sink deeper into His presence and those pesky distractions have all floated away!