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Grateful Meditation - by, Kristen Braatz

This past month in Lay School we looked at meditation. We were asked what we thought it was. Did it seem like something that was possible to do in our lives? Were we incorporating meditation into our lives?

These questions brought many different answers and thoughts. Many of us looked at meditation as a quiet time you set aside and clear your thoughts and focus on something. Many felt they didn’t know how this could be incorporated into daily life.

The definition we were given for meditation was “to muse, ponder, reflect, consider.” And also, “Being attentive to God” with the purpose “to see ourselves in the light of God’s revealed word.” And finally, we heard, meditation leads to being filled with God’s Word.

WOW! That’s a lot when we just sat and thought about it. But then we started talking about what meditation can look like. Truly, it is different for everybody. I bet many of us meditate, and don’t even realize it.

It made me think about my own life and ways that I feel God’s presence or when I am very moved by something. When do these times occur? Do I acknowledge them? Do I even recognize what is happening?

As we were talking in class, I realized through the conversation that I enter meditation many times throughout the day and I never thought of calling it this.

Many years ago I read a book that pushed me to look for the blessings or gifts in every day. This didn’t come easily. In the beginning I had to use the daily suggestions to look outside the obvious things in my life. This truly brought such an awakening in my life. It showed me God’s beauty in all things, large and small. I used to journal these daily to develop a habit in my thinking. Now I just try to see. This is meditation.

When we hear a song on the radio and it leads us to God is another example of meditation. It might make us think of God, ponder God, feel God’s love being poured over us. I can’t tell you how often I am in my car or playing music in my house and I just worship God and sense God’s presence. This is meditation.

Too often we make things way too hard. We don’t simply just let God in and absorb and accept what God wants to do in our lives. So leading into November, a month where many share what they are thankful for, daily, weekly, or monthly. I challenge you to look for ways that you are already meditating. Being grateful every day for the work God is doing and wants to do in your life. Maybe jot it down daily for the month and see how this is something that is not so “scary.” And that maybe, just maybe, you have been doing it all along.

*Book reference “Spiritual Classics” by Richard J Foster and Emilie Griffin; “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” by Ann Voskamp

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