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World Meditation Day

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. Psalm 1.1–2 (NRSV) 

The last year has been very strange: for many of us life has got much more stressful, while others of us have had the opposite experience. While some have faced serious strain because of financial worries, health issues or the pressure of lockdown, others have been relieved of long commutes or work we didn’t enjoy, and have found new freedom in not being tied to our old routines.   

On World Meditation Day we’re invited to relax and reflect, or ‘press pause and reboot’. Whatever our situation, that’s probably a good thing to do. And while ‘meditation’ is a word that’s sometimes associated with Eastern religions or secular ‘mindfulness’ practices, it’s deeply rooted in Scripture.

In Psalm 1, the psalmist says that those who meditate on God’s ‘law’ are blessed or happy. Taking time to dwell on Scripture needs a deliberate decision to slow down and not to worry about the next thing that’s clamouring for our attention. It means not worrying, either, about whether we’re learning anything ‘useful’ – instead, we’re opening our minds to God, and letting him decide what we need to know.

Meditation is a habit of mind, and it gets easier with practice. We might want to dwell on one or two verses, perhaps thinking about each word in a verse and reflecting on what they mean. Limiting ourselves to a set time is probably useful too, especially as we begin.

The psalmist says that those who ‘delight in God’s law’ are like trees planted by water. They have deep roots, and they can survive droughts and tempests – like the ones many of us are going through now.

God’s word is the best resource for the believer’s meditations; in it he meets us and blesses us.   

Author: Mark Woods, 21 May 2020 (Last updated: 14 May 2021)

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