Tag : meditation
Tag : meditation
Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses.
And admire a peacock perched by the resort pool.
And listen to the tide as it rolls back and forth on the shoreline.
Every once and a while we have to take a step back and allow our brains to coast. No deep thinking about work or school. No deadline pressure. No project juggling.
As we come out of the pandemic more and more, us Type A’s are back in full swing. Maybe you, like myself, have been pushing yourself so long and so hard that anxiety is the rule rather than the exception. If so, it’s important to disconnect from the world periodically.
Maybe you’re not noticing God’s beautiful creation anymore. No time.
Maybe you’re not paying enough attention to the important people in your life. Too busy.
Perhaps you are not taking care of yourself. Later.
If you’re convicted, then it’s important to take a step back from the demands of an intense schedule and let down a bit. Hey, I even missed writing a blog on Saturday. God never intended for us to run at a super-human pace and overlook all of His delightful creations or to cut our time short with Him. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We can slow the pace by meditating on the word of God rather than speed reading a Bible passage. In her book, Liv2Day, Dr. Paula McDonald says meditating can improve concentration, reduce anxiety, improve mood, resist gray matter in the brain, and helps treat addiction. McDonald says, “Since God created us, wouldn’t it make sense that He wired our brains to benefit from spending time with Him?”
I unplug best at my happy place, the beach. But maybe a mountain, lake or park work better for you. The key is to slow it down enough to see the beauty around you—and recharge.
I’m a Martha who has to be intentional about being more like Mary, but I’m not always successful.
Many of us know the story about the two sisters, found in Luke 10:38–42. Jesus came to visit the them and Martha became irritated when Mary didn’t lift a finger to help her get dinner ready. (Have we ever had that happen in our own homes?) Instead, Mary was sedentary at Jesus’s feet, mesmerized by every word He had to say. Martha then vented to Jesus about Mary’s lack of labor, but the Savior rebuked her gently: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
As I face a podcast interview today, television tapings this week, a mini-women’s conference in Pakistan on Saturday morning and a Hebrew mid-term on Monday, the Martha in me is difficult to suppress. While worshipping this morning, the week’s schedule interrupted my devotion, and I struggled to not think about how to manage my time. While reading the Word, I prayed simultaneously Show me what to blog about today, LORD. And, of course, one of my studies today was about Mary and Martha. God has a sense of humor.
But for those of us Martha-types reading today’s blog, I think we need to give ourselves a break. It’s our nature, and it takes Martha’s to handle the details of life. Didn’t God say to the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” That’s a word for us as well. The LORD formed us as well in our mother’s womb, and created every intricate chain of DNA that was characteristic of a Martha personality.
It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend time in full-hearted worship and immersion in G-d’s word. There are many times, more than not these days, when Mary tendencies prevail in my life. I love basking in the presence of Jesus, as she did. But if there is work to be done, like this week, I think Jesus understands. Mary chose the better thing. He never said what Martha did was wrong.
So today, Martha’s, it’s okay. I’m not going to suggest we all go to “Martha’s Anonymous” but when we can, let’s ask God to help us to withdraw mentally from the to-do list and give Jesus our full attention. It can be done, but I’m sure Jesus gives us grace when we just can’t escape the planning.
That’s what author and pastor Mark Batterson says we need to do to hear the voice of God. I am currently at the beach where I feel closest to God and where I’ve received some profound direction like “I want you to quit your full-time job” after I felt a call to seminary back in 2003. I resisted at first and laid down some parameters for proceeding: “You need to replace my salary in my husband’s salary and make it his idea.” Both happened, but not before I ended up in the Emergency Room with panic attacks at finals and once again the following semester at mid-terms. I should have listened and taken a leap of faith, but didn’t.
Shifting back to current day, there has not been a direct message from the Lord on this beach trip. There has been some great family time and really good food. We also put a 1000 piece puzzle together and had some relaxing outings at the pool and beach. But I think I haven’t heard from above because I have not done any “proactive listening.”
I’ve started the days with my usual morning routine:
But no true silence and meditation.
There is a scenario in my life right now where I need a word from God. I need to know whether to proceed or pull back, because if I am supposed to move forward I may have to let go of something else. I’ve learned my lesson about overextending.
So I am thankful for the reminder during my time with my heavenly Father this morning. I need to be intentional about listening. I need to be more like Jacob who wrestled with God until he received a blessing. Or like Jesus who spent long periods of time with the Lord so He would receive direction from His Father. John 5:19 says Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing.
What about you? Do you need direction about something in your life? Consider Proactive Listening. Push all extraneous thoughts out of your mind. Sit in His presence without saying a word, and ask God to speak.
“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes (Psalm 119:98–99).
This Wednesday May 27 is our monthly POP Chat at 6:30 p.m. Our Subject will be “How to Have Peace in Your Life.” We hope you will sign up and join us for a powerful time of Worship, Prayer, Teaching and Conversation online. The link to register is below: