Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday's Meditation

Pretty much everything I've learned about the discipline of meditation comes from what I've learned from Richard Foster's must read Celebration of Discipline. In that book, Foster introduces a form of meditation that he calls "Palms up, Palms down." It's based on a Middle Ages practice called "re-collection," which the Quakers called "centering down."

The idea is this that you exchange your concerns, burdens, or problems for the grace and reality that God has to offer you. I've found it helpful to sit in a chair so that you are comfortable, but not so comfortable that you will fall asleep. Lying face down - or up, for that matter - would also be an appropriate position, as would kneeling and/or bowing. Anyway, as you unload your burdens unto the Lord, turn your palms down as though you are actually handing them over to Him. It might be something like this, "Lord, I give to you my fear and frustration about my finances." Then, turn your palms up, like you're receiving a gift, and "accept" what the Lord has to give you in return. For example, "Lord, I accept your security and provision for me."

Sometimes I hand over all my burdens at one time, then accept the Lord's grace to me. At other times, I simply do a one-for-one, as it were, and move onto my next concern. The purpose is, as always, that we immerse ourselves in the reality that our God really is a smart God who loves us and will be with us forever.