Ever gone to one of those fancy restaurants, ordered a steak, and when you looked at the plate, you wondered who ate most of it on the way to your table? Then you took a bite. Perhaps it was the sauce or the texture, but you realized the amount belied the density.
A great chef makes small portions rich.
I love going to Chinese buffets. Management doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t love me. They know they are about to lose money. But even with all that food, in two hours IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hungry again. Just because I devour enough to feed a small country doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean I get filled up.
Sometimes I feel pressure to know more, be more, read more, consume more. I step up to lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s buffet and want to try everything or I feel like I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t gotten my moneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worth. But devouring more volume doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t guarantee more satisfaction.
In suburbia, we equate meditation with yoga, new age, and sitting like a pretzel. You hear phrases like, Ã¢â‚¬Å“empty your mind; ohm; and let the stress seep out of your fingertipsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â Not a big fan of seepage. For most of us, the spiritual practice of solitude is rare and meditation is an endangered species. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard of prayer warriors, but never meditation warriors. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an ancient art practiced by eastern people. However meditation has a rich tradition throughout the Bible and the early church. And itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not about emptying your mind; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about how to fill it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.Ã¢â‚¬Â Psalm 119:97
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and nightÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â Joshua 1:8
Meditation is simply chewing small portions of Scripture. How do we start?
Pick a small portion of Scripture: maybe the Beatitudes in Matthew 5; a proverb; or a Psalm
Pick an amount of time you will meditate on it: 5 or 10 minutes a day for a week
Think on it.
I tend to approach Scripture with the attitude, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What can I get out of this?Ã¢â‚¬Â Meditation is more about what God wants to get out of me. What attitude needs to change? How do I live up to this concept or precept? What message is God whispering? Someone described meditation not as us reading the Bible, but as the Bible reading us.
We market John 3:16 far better than Jesus ever did. He totally missed the potential. After thinking on John chapter 3 for a while I realize he never wore his statement about “born again” on a shirt, or put it on a bumper sticker. He told it to one guy in the middle of the night. Jesus always gave his best to the least amount of people. He didn’t wait for the crowds or the cameras. Now, I’m glad we’ve gone global with that verse, but it made me think, “Am I willing to give my best to the least?” One child. One wife. One friend. One church. One neighbor.
Rather than seeing the Bible as a buffet you need to consume quickly, why not see it as a series of small entrÃƒÂ©eÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s? A great chef knows how to make small portions rich.