In today’s world, we hear lots of talk about meditation. What comes to your mind when you think of meditation? Some people think of meditation as being where you sit wit your legs crossed, your finger touching your thumb on both hands, while making a humming sound and just emptying your mind of all thoughts.
I don’t believe that’s what Bill Wilson and Bob Smith had in mind when they wrote about meditation in the AA Big Book. If you’ve read the basic text of AA you will find that meditation is almost always coupled with “prayer.” Here’s a few quotes from the Big Book.
•BB How It Works, p.59
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
•BB How It Works, p.69
In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter.
•BB Into Action, p.85
Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation.
•BB Into Action, p.87
If circumstances warrant, we ask our wives or friends to join us in morning meditation.
•BB The Family Afterward, p.134
When this happens, they can be invited to join in morning meditation and then they can take part in the daily discussion without rancor or bias.
•BB Into Action, p.83
So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.
•BB A Vision For You, p.164
Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick.
•BB Into Action, p.87
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.
So what does it mean to meditate? Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828) states the following:
MED'ITATE, v.i. [L. meditor.]
1. To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind; appropriately but not exclusively used of pious contemplation, or a consideration of the great truths of religion.
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psa 1.
2. To intend; to have in contemplation.
I meditate to pass the remainder of life in a state of undisturbed repose.
MED'ITATE, v.t. To plan by revolving in the mind; to contrive; to intend.
Some affirmed that I meditated a war.
1. To think on; to revolve in the mind.
Blessed is the man that doth meditate good things.
For us as believers, we look to God’s word for direction and a clear understanding of meditation and just why it is important to make meditation a part of our everyday lives.
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Psalm 63:6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; Psalm 77:6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
Like journaling, meditation should be a daily thing; we set aside a time in our day to spend with God, not only talking to Him and making our requests, but listening for Him to speak to us. Maybe He will speak through His word, Maybe He will quietly speak to your heart through a thought that you can look in the Good Book and see if that thought lines up with God’s written word.
When I fell in love with my wife, I thought about her almost all of the time, I thought of things we could do together, I thought of how I could please her. I thought about just how beautiful she is and how great it’s going to be to spend the rest of our lives together. I couldn’t wait to be with her, I meditated on her day and night.
Jesus desires that kind of relationship with us; He thinks about us all the time and His word tells us so. His Love letter to us tells us how to live, how to love, how to treat others, and how to be men and women who honor Him. It’s something we should take time to think about and meditate on.
Meditate on these things; be in these things in order that your improvement may appear to all. 1Timothy 4:15