Someone very close to me once said that meditation was anti-Christian. Their thoughts on this was that meditation is generally associated with far eastern cultures, namely Buddhism. We all know that Buddhist monks can spend years meditating, trying to gain their eternal enlightenment. I can see why people generally associate meditating with anti-Christian thoughts. Did you know that the Bible also speaks of meditating?
My curiosity got the best of me today and I decided to do some research on Christians and meditation. This all started out on a blog post about something called “The Daily Examen” that I read on the Healthy Spirituality blog. (This blog has been added to my blogroll.)
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. (from Ignatian Spirituality)
Basically, this is a concept used to meditate on God about your daily life. This religious activity was developed by St. Ignatius Loyola as a means to get very close with God, while sharing all of your highs and lows pertaining to a 24 hour period. After reading about “The Daily Examen”, I began to wonder if meditating was actually against Christian beliefs. I know that there are Catholic monks in the world, but I do not have a clue as to what their spiritual walk is like and if they meditate or not.
Orange Juice. How do you know that God has been working in you? I know those first two sentences probably have you totally lost. Let me explain. Sunday morning at church, before Sunday School begins, the church provides donuts (or bagels) and milk (or orange juice). This Sunday, like every Sunday, we got there early so that we can share in the fellowship that comes during this Sunday ritual. The girls were sitting around eating their donuts. One of them reached over and slid my cup of orange juice to move it out of the way. The cup tipped over and the juice landed all over the table and right in to my lap. That is not a good way to start Church. The crotch of my pants was soaked. I jumped out of my seat and just started laughing. To me, it was funny. Where else would it have went, but in my lap?? Before I know it, church members were scrounging for napkins to help me clean up the mess. Why does this story matter to me?
Just a few short months ago I would have been angered to the point of stomping off and possibly yelling at the kids. God has been working on my anger. He throws little obstacles at me–like this juice, to see how I will react. Subconsciously I don’t see the test. It is after the fact that I can rejoice and know that my God is changing me from the inside out. My reaction was so unlike me that when I looked up at Cassie and the girls, they were quite. Just quiet and staring. The girls were scared. I understand that it was a complete accident and that the juice, once dumped, had a 99% chance of hitting the crotch of my pants. That is just the way things work. Luckily this time God had my back and revealed himself to me in a new and profound way. Thank-you Lord!!