Do You Meditate or Just Daydream?

Meditating in a christian wayAS THE torrid heat of the Negeb gave way to the cool of the evening, a young man named Isaac left his tent and went for a stroll “in order to meditate in the field.” What his thoughts were, the Bible does not say. We can be sure, however, that this was no idle, romantic reverie. Isaac’s upcoming marriage meant new and weighty responsibilities. A child produced through this union would continue the lineage leading to the promised “Seed,” or Messiah.

It is no wonder, then, that Isaac needed time to sort things out in his mind. But when his meditation was interrupted by the sight of an approaching caravan, how his heart must have beaten! For seated upon one of the camels was his bride, Rebekah.

This account highlights something that should be a part of every Christian’s routine: MEDITATION. True, the word “meditate” appears but a few times in the Bible. Nevertheless, God’s Word frequently stresses the need for such deep thought. “Ponder [“Meditate,” Authorized Version] over these things; be absorbed in them, that your advancement may be manifest to all persons,” advised the apostle Paul.

Keeping the Mind “On Track”

Though obviously beneficial, meditation is difficult for most of us. Most would probably prefer simply to daydream—let the mind just drift along effortlessly and without purpose, like a boat floating downstream. If done in rest periods, this can be very relaxing. But if done at Christian meetings, during study periods or work time, daydreaming can be like idling a car engine—wasting fuel and getting nowhere.

How can you keep your mind “on track”? Before Christian meetings, you may find it helpful to eat lightly, as a heavy meal can have a sleep-inducing effect. Taking notes is another aid to better concentration. But mental discipline is perhaps the most important factor.

We can think much faster than a speaker can utter words. So instead of allowing words to go in one ear and out the other, try to anticipate what the speaker will say next. Follow his line of reasoning. Note the Scriptural arguments he uses. Later, ponder the points made, to help them stay in your spiritual storehouse ready for future use. For as Jesus said: “A good man brings forth good out of the good treasure of his heart . . . out of the heart’s abundance his mouth speaks.”

Perhaps your mind tends to “slip out of gear” when you read. If so, try shorter, but more frequent spells of study. Of course, appreciation for what you are learning is vital. And if a lack of it is causing your mind to wander, consider what our heavenly Father

My son, to my words do pay attention. To my sayings incline your ear. . . . Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those finding them and health to all their flesh.

Paying close attention to Jehovah’s sayings is a life-or-death matter. And these sayings must sink deep into our heart if they are to motivate us to do what is right. This is where meditation comes in. Bible reading without meditation is like a shower that passes quickly and soon dries up—momentarily refreshing but with no lasting benefits. Meditation is like a steady rain that sinks in and stimulates growth. How, then, can one learn to meditate?

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