3.14.16 ~ Listen

Our adventure in learning more about meditation last week challenged us to stop! To practice the ability to put things down, slow down (even for just a few min) and just become still. The first act of experiencing the discipline of meditation. So, how did it go? Did you try and stop and be still? I hope so! I’m finding that this journey into the disciplines is bringing Luke’s topic of attaching to the vine, from John 15 real for me day to day.

One thing from last week that I learned is the element of time and schedule. I learned that this time to stop has to be scheduled. I was able to quiet not only my heart, but my head. If things came, I let them go for the time and just refocused.  No expectations, but to allow my heart and head to slow things down to encounter the creator. It allowed me to take John 15:4 and experience “remain in me as I also remain in you”. It was a rich daily experience that I would love to share if you want to ask.  Don’t give up! Dad said it best, “practice will make perfect” or in this case build me up to see victory each day!

I left my times last week ready to look at our next topic for mediation. The ability to listen.

Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline lays out these scriptures as some great biblical giants as listeners.  David Ps 119:97, 101,102 “Oh how I love they law! It is my meditation all the day….I hold my feet from every evil way, in order to keep thy word. I do not turn aside from thy ordinances, for though has taught me”  Gen 24:63 “And Isaac went out to mediate in the field in the evening”, Ps 63:6 “I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night” Ps 119:148 “My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate upon thy promises.”  Ps 1:2 “delight is in the law of the Lord  and on his law he meditates day and night.

Take a min to get your bible out and read 1 Sam. 3:1-18 and see how Elli helped a young Samuel know the word of the Lord. Also read 1 Kings 19:9-18 for Elijah and discerning the still small voice.

Now Foster shares this….”These were people who were close to the heart of God. God spoke to them not because they had special abilities, but because they were willing to listen.”

Oh no! Willing to listen….I’m nervous to share this, but if you were to ask anyone close to me they might let on it is not one of my strengths. I might have to agree. Seems like I’m always formulating an answer, thinking of a defense, trying to get ahead in a conversation…..It’s me and it’s something I’m working on daily in my life at home, at work, while fishing, or just sitting around shooting the breeze. And now Foster shares what I know to be true. STOP and LISTEN. That’s all God wants from me. Really , I think this is one thing that so many struggle with and it ties right back to the idea of stopping the crazy, noisy world we live in and just listen.

Foster goes on to say, “Christian meditation , very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word. It is that simple.”

The bible examples are just a few that Foster shares in his book. He closes this portion of the mediation discussion with this, “This, in brief, forms the biblical foundation for mediation, and the wonderful news is that Jesus has not stopped acting and speaking. He is resurrected and at work in our world. He is not idle, nor has he developed laryngitis. He is alive and among us as our Priest to forgive us, our Prophet to teach us, our King to rule us, our Shepherd to guide us.”

As my dad said, “Practice, Practice, Practice”

I know that Jesus is alive and I can’t wait to settle and now really begin to listen as I cultivate this discipline of meditation!!!! Lord, Here I am, speak to me, my head, my heart. Speak loudly, speak softly, I can’t wait to hear!