Here we are heading into the end of March. This brief look into the first discipline I hope has challenged you as it has me. I must admit, this discipline is not an easy one for me in the pace in which daily life comes and goes. I continue to struggle to make time to sit and be silent, but I reflect on those words of my dad, “Practice makes perfect”, so I will continue to grow this discipline one day at a time.
This week I want to share a few quotes from Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline and then my thoughts I had as I read them. My hope in sharing is that it will cause you to think also, deeper about the discipline of meditation. Here we go….
“In meditation we are growing into what Thomas à Kempis calls “a familiar friendship with Jesus.” We are sinking down into the light and life of Christ and becoming comfortable in that posture. The perpetual presence of the Lord (omnipresence, as we say) moves from a theological dogma into a radiant reality. “He walks with me and he talks with me” ceases to be pious jargon and instead becomes a straightforward description of daily life.”
A friendship with Jesus…. What do you do to build a friendship with someone? Spending time ……. listening …. trusting …… sharing …. just spending time? I’m reminded of a quote I heard from a guest speaker at our church a few weeks ago, “got to versus get to” I don’t have to do this, I get to do it. Foster says ” No, not “have to” but “want to,” for our desires and aspirations will be more and more conformed to his way. Increasingly, everything within us will swing like a needle to the polestar of the Spirit.” WOW!!!
“What happens in meditation is that we create the emotional and spiritual space which allows Christ to construct an inner sanctuary in the heart.”
In my relationship with Christ, I must create the space for him to work. Drop my guard, put my feelings aside and give Christ the opportunity to build my inner sanctuary. From the inside out I will see Christ work as I take the time to STOP!
“Inward fellowship of this kind transforms the inner personality. We cannot burn the eternal flame of the inner sanctuary and remain the same, for the Divine Fire will consume everything that is impure. Our ever-present Teacher will always be leading us into “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Everything that is foreign to his way we will have to let go. “
Transformation! We can’t remain the same. As we spend time to stop and listen like those giants we wrote about in the last post, the Devine Fire will change us! If this doesn’t create an excitement to move into the quiet, well I don’t know what to say.
Finally for this week……….Our day to day will also be impacted!
“Often meditation will yield insights that are deeply practical, almost mundane. Instruction will come on how to relate to your wife or husband, or how to deal with this sensitive problem or that business situation. It is wonderful when a particular meditation leads to ecstasy, but it is far more common to be given guidance in dealing with ordinary human problems. Meditation sends us into our ordinary world with greater perspective and balance. ”
Here’s to a great week of listening!