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UCB Word For You

What does it mean to meditate?

19 May 2022
‘I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways.’

Another word for meditation is rumination. Rumination is what a cow is doing when she chews her cud. The cow eats grass, chews all she can, and then swallows it. It sits in one of her stomachs for a while, and then a little later, she burps it up. The cow chews on it some more and swallows it again. She’s pulling every bit of nourishment from the grass.

And meditation is simply thought digestion. Meditation doesn’t mean putting your mind in neutral and thinking about nothing. It’s actually the opposite – it’s thinking seriously about what you’re reading. For example, you start by dwelling on one verse of Scripture and ask, ‘What does this mean for my life?’ ‘What’s God telling me through these words?’ Talk to yourself about it, ask questions about it, and talk to God about it. The Bible says this: ‘Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise’ (Philippians 4:8 CEV). And Colossians 3:16 says, ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly’ (KJV).

Another lesson we can learn from the cow is that she can spend up to eight hours a day eating and ruminating in order to extract every nutrient she possibly can. It’s not a quick process. It takes time. And we need to devote time every day – at least 10 to 15 minutes, and more if we can – to sit down somewhere that’s free from distractions, read a portion of the Bible, think deeply about what we’ve just read, and then talk to God about it in prayer. That’s the best starting point for spiritual change and growth.


What Now?

Choose a verse to meditate on – after you’ve read it, ask God to reveal new perspectives and wisdom on it, and ask how He wants you to apply it to your life.

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