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Psalm 77: 6

I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit ponders.

I really like this scripture. It has a nice feeling to it, but it also shares some key insights to meditation. For example, did you notice that the author meditates with his heart? Well, that’s not very western of him. Oh yeah, he wasn’t western. Our faith originates in the east. No wonder some of these ideas perplex us.

The author goes on to say that his spirit ponders. Okay. Let’s pick up our meditation series right there. First, though, remember that we have quieted down physically, emotionally and mentally. Breathe deep, slow breaths, maybe put on nature sounds or atonal, soothing music, turn off the phone, light an aromatic candle or wax burner. In other words, make your physical surrounding one of relaxation.

Then as we engage stillness in our bodies and internally, we turn our minds and attention to the Father. Perhaps you imagined Him sitting with you at your kitchen table or in lawn chairs on your patio. This is all to connect you with the Father in your heart. We can use this time to let our minds rest and instead interact with Father with our spirits. You know how to do this. Remember when you fell in love and you didn’t have to say anything to each other. Your hearts felt like they just matched beats. Or, remember how you connected with your new baby who couldn’t yet speak? Connecting with God is really very much the same. You reach out with your heart rather than your mind and make the connection there. Then, you can certainly use your mind as a tool of your heart to communicate but make the connection with the Father in your heart rather than in your mind.

Now comes the fun part. We get to ponder. Here are some synonyms of meditate: contemplate, think about, consider, ponder, cogitate, muse. I just really like ponder. People get all weird about meditating, though we all do it all the time, but when we think about pondering something, it all becomes normal again. Yea! So, here we go. I am going to show you one of my favorite ways to meditate. Let’s ponder Psalm 46:10.

I have shared with you three translations. The NLT reads, “Be still, and know that I am God.” God’s Word Translation reads, “Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God.” And the Passion Translation has, “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.” They are all the same verse but don’t look the same, at least at first blush. So, here is what I do, and, by the way, this is where lots of Words of the Day come from. I just begin to ask questions about the differences. I ponder the differences. Why did the editors choose one word over another? What are some other words which mean the same thing? What is the difference in each translation? Are they communicating the same thing but from different vantage points? What ties them together? What was the author experiencing at the time of writing? Do the verses before and after give me insight into the meaning? Then, the most important question of all, if I slow down for a moment and think about this verse, what does it mean to me? How can this wisdom fit into my life?

And that’s it. You’ve just meditated. Of course, that is only one way. I like to meditate over verses by looking at different translations. You may enjoy pondering a Bible story. Picture Jesus on the day he and his apostles fed the five thousand. What did that look like? What did Jesus do? What did his disciples do? As you observe and ask questions, you will discover the Holy Spirit providing insights and answers. It’s really a whole lot of fun. You might even put yourself in the scene. What would you be doing? Are you distributing food, taking up the leftovers or are you just sitting by Jesus watching and listening to him?

Do a little mental meandering. Ponder a scripture, a story or a scene. I would love hearing about your experiences, so share them either by replying to this devotion or post it on our site.

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