When my mind rushes through tasks to accomplish without thought for God, my busy schedule is not the only thing to blame. Meditating involves more than just taking time to be still; it also involves discipline. We don’t think of resting as a matter of discipline, but resting is not always an excuse to not work. Sometimes, work is our excuse for not resting.
We worry about what would happen if we stopped doing what we’re doing, as if the world would fall apart if we didn’t hold it together. Afterall, who would think about all of this stuff if we didn’t? But we forget that the Lord holds the world together by His word, not our strength. Martin Luther said, “Pray, and let God worry.”
To get my mind to stop rambling and to start meditating on God and His person takes discipline; it takes a conscious effort. We must put the brakes on. And when we do, we will find, miraculously, that our world has not come to a screeching halt. Instead, we will find not only the rest that we need in the still waters of God and His truth but also the power of God and the sufficiency of His grace stepping into our very lives and mundane routines.
But discipline is hard at first. That’s why when I find that moment of silence in my schedule where I can meditate, I have to continually keep my mind from straying off. Bringing our bodies into subjection, including our minds, takes hard work, exercise, and self control. Incredibly, our minds have a great aptitude for training. Athletes, scientists, artists, and others train their minds to reach intense levels of concentration, blocking out all distractions. Even as parents, we train ourselves to certain levels of concentration. A mother has the uncanny ability, no matter what else may be going on, to hear her baby cry. Conversely, a parent may be able to block out certain child-related noises when other tasks need to be accomplished.
So, why can’t we do this in our spiritual lives? I think the time must come where we place the blame where it really lies–not with the children, not with our busy schedules, but with our own priorities and desires. You see, the first part of Psalm 1:2 provides us with the real answer.
When we truly delight in the Lord, we will put all else aside for Him.
This post has been edited and republished from my former blog Homekeepers. Over the next several months, I will be merging my two blogs into this one location.