The key to good anything is so cheap. Funny how we plan and program and read and study how to do anything or go any place, how we pay good money for how-to books and watch films hoping to pick up what we need to make it good, when what we really need to do is listen.
I remember back in the day, nearly fifty years ago, when I was first married, every week we would go to the post library (Jim was in the Army) and I would get a dozen books, on all sorts of topics, lots of how-to books and a few fiction ones to tide me over to the next week. That was also before we could afford a TV though I did listen to the radio. I read books on everything from marital adjustment …smiley face…to cooking to making cheap and cute Christmas decorations and gifts. Since then I have accumulated shelves of books on prayer and spiritual growth and women’s ministry and a few fiction books to tide me over – we did get a television but there’s only so much you can watch.
But I learned the most about marital adjustment… smiley face... and cooking and making great gifts and decorations a much simpler way, by listening and by meditating on what I just heard or read even.The theme of my Year Through the Bible this last week has been meditation, and I have been much more intentional about starting my quiet time with meditation…a cup of tea sometimes, but sitting quietly and thinking about God or listening, paying attention to what He might bring to my mind. I don’t empty my mind of spiritual things, but I do try to lay aside the meal planning, chore list, even prayer list to just allow God to bring back to my mind the Scripture or study I read yesterday or anything that might deepen my relationship or awareness of His love.
I am in a Sister Study for sisters of women who have had cancer. Periodically they send me (this is relevant) a pretty detailed questionnaire about my health. A few days ago, God brought that to my mind during this quiet time, and I was so blessed as I rehearsed with God all the “No” answers that I got to mark – all the things that could have gone wrong with my body. It was an amazing time of praising God because I was still enough for Him to bring this to mind.For me, meditation is like listening, paying attention to what God reminds me of, and I have to say here that sometimes other things come to mind, and I just write them down so I can think about them later. This is my time with my God, and any good relationship, any growing relationship requires intentional listening, a paying attention to what the other person is saying, I fear that our relationship with God, or anyone else, can too easily devolve to our making assumptions about what might make them happy or honor them or please them, and we miss the boat completely. So, we find ways of blaming them, or feeling a failure when all we really have to do is shut up, and listen, and think about them, think about God and pay attention to what his Spirit might bring to our mind in that quiet space.
Key image is from Pinterest