‘I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.’ Psalm 119:15 (ESV)
I was thinking back to the beginning of lockdown. It seemed like we were all trying to think of things to do; new hobbies, DIY, exercise plans, people to ring etc.
It’s funny how quickly we manage to fill our time again. Whether that’s with a work project that we used to be able to escape, that’s now in our home. Or with some ‘binge-worthy’ Netflix show. Or with the new mission that shopping has become. Or with an injustice that we’re (rightly) trying to challenge. Or whatever combination of things it might be for you.
Where for a short while there was a sense of stillness, there seems now to be just as much (if not more) busyness than before.
One of the things I ‘took up’ whilst in lockdown was making coffee. Not just like the instant into a mug or even the grounds into a French press. I mean weighing & grinding of artisan roasted beans to the prefect size. Heating the water (& all the implements) to the perfect temperature. Timing the blooming, agitation (stirring) & steeping (resting). And finally, the pour. [Who knew making coffee was such an art, or so heated debated? Must be the caffeine].
Now if you’re thinking, ‘Matt where are you going with this?’, bear with me. For the 10 – 15 minutes it takes me to make a cup of coffee, I am able to be still, to meditate even. My hands are grinding beans, my phone is down, I can’t leave the water & I’m free to think.
We see throughout the Bible the phrase, ‘I will mediate on your word’. To meditate on God’s word is not a special thing for a select holy few, it is a discipline for all those who believe. It means to pause, pray, read & reflect. Yes, a discipline because we know we’re pretty good at filling our lives with ‘stuff’, we need to be intentional in making (& keeping) space. As we meditate on scripture we are filled with the words, truth & ways of our Heavenly Father; what we fill our minds with, will fill our hearts & overflow out of our hands.
Back to coffee. Sure, you can make an ‘okay’ coffee pretty fast. A good one though, that is going to take time, a recipe & patience. We’re not saved by what we do (thank the Lord). Yet, God loves us so much he doesn’t want us to stay the same. He doesn’t desire us to be ‘okay’ Christians staying as we are, he desires for us to grow more & more into the likeness of Christ.
How can we expect to grow as Christians if we don’t invest time, listening to God’s word & making little (or sometimes big) adjustments to our lives, by the Spirit, in the endless pursuit of Christ?
I’m not saying take up making elaborate coffee (although if it helps you to stop, go for it!). My challenge is for us to have moments throughout our day where we pause, pray, read & reflect on God’s word. Block out the noise of busyness & listen to the voice of your Father – ‘I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways’ – Psalm 119:15 (ESV).
By Matt Lockwood
Here’s my 8 step meditation recipe:
Step 1. Choose a scripture (I recommend a psalm to start)
Step 2. Put down your phone & find somewhere to be quiet for 5 minutes
Step 3. Pray that God would help you focus
Step 4. Read the passage slowly
Step 5. Close your eyes & reflect on what you’ve just read
Step 6. Repeat S4+5 x 2 – 3 times
Step 7. Pray through what you’ve heard
Step 8. Take moments throughout the day to come back to the passage
– – – –
Step 1. Grind 20 grams of light roast coffee beans (medium/coarse)
Step 2. Preheat a small French press with boiling water, then throw away
Step 3. Put the grounds into the French press
Step 4. Slowly pour over 300ml of boiling water covering all the grounds
Step 5. DO NOT STIR! Leave for 4 minutes
Step 6. Break up the ‘crust’ that forms (stir now)
Step 7. Leave for a further 5 minutes
Step 8. Press, pour & enjoy!