“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he mediates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
A couple of years ago, I watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love. The movie is about a lady trying to find herself. In the process, she travels to India. While it’s a bit cliché, it’s what everyone whose trying to find themselves seems to do. While in India, she encounters a guy who tells her about one of his recent meditation experiences. One day, in particular, he had gone on the roof to meditate. As he was meditating, he was able to clear his mind in a way he hadn't been able to before. As a result, the universe came rushing in and provided him the insight he was seeking. The movie portrays an Eastern and secular idea of meditation, but it isn't the same kind of meditation the Bible is encouraging.
Meditating in a biblical sense is much different than what’s commonly practiced in Eastern religions and in our secular culture. God doesn't want you to hum in a monotone tone with your legs crossed in an effort to completely clear your mind so the universe can come rushing in. Instead, God's encouraging you to do the exact opposite: to fill your mind with Scripture and to turn it over and over in your head in an effort to understand it and apply it to your life.
An Everyday Practice
Meditation is something we should practice each day after we get done reading the Bible, which means we aren’t to close the book, check the box on our reading plan, and never think about what we read again. Instead, we are to meditate on that day's reading throughout the rest of the day.
I find the best way to begin meditating on a text is either to memorize it, put it in my own words, or to write a journal entry or blog post. Once I do one of those, I’m more able to think about and meditate on what I read for the remainder of the day.
You might be wondering why you need to meditate. Isn't reading God's Word enough? Yes, reading God's Word is a good practice. But the reason we are to take this extra step is so we can come to a better understanding of how the Bible applies to our life. In order to do that, we need to think deeply about Scripture.