From Connections: Learn to work out your own salvation through meditation

By Darlene Warren

BIG SANDY, Texas--Since I started working with Connections, I've written on several crucial subjects that I wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to write about. I've tackled calendar issues, servant leadership, prophecy and postmodernism, just to name a few.

This month I've decided to share with you my views on the subject of meditation. Meditation is the oldest form of mental medication in existence. Before Valium, Zoloft or Paxil was in common use, humans relied on their own ability to de-stress by deliberately and consciously clearing their minds of all earthly cares and then rebooting to a site filled with tranquillity.

This is, of course, a learned procedure. What works for some people doesn't work for others.
David's methodology

One of the great meditators of all time was the psalmist David. His music and his sheep lulled him regularly into a state of serenity, and we are blessed beyond measure to have preserved for us his most private and personal inner reflections.

David's methodology would never have worked for me. David's sheep were thoughtful, loving, docile, cuddly balls of wool on four legs that lived only to please David. I'm sure they worshiped him and gazed lovingly upon him for hours as they sat chewing their cud and he sang songs and played beautiful music for them.

David obviously didn't own the same breed of sheep my kids raised a few years ago. These "precious lambs" daily escaped from their pen and rampaged through the countryside. Instead of dining on luscious green grass, they preferred azaleas.

It was hard to concentrate on maintaining a serene mental state when your shrubbery was being gnawed off at the roots.

It was also unwise to turn your back on one of these precious animals, because if provoked (and sometimes with no provocation) they would charge at you and buckle you at the knees.

It should be noted at this juncture that one sheep was given to my son because it almost killed a woman. So, you see, what brings peace and composure to some may not work in all cases. I don't know how David did it unless he gave Valium to the sheep.

30-minute minimum

According to modern church leaders, meditation is a key element in a Christian's life. It is so important that its value is listed as 25 percent of a person's righteousness score. (Prayer, Bible study and fasting also hold a value of 25 percent each.) Without meditation, a person can still pass his GRE (Greater Reward Exam), but it would be a squeaker. That is why it is so incumbent upon us to learn to meditate at least 30 minutes every day.

The key to being able to accomplish this is really quite simple. First you must find a quiet location where there are no distractions. Church is good for some people. I personally know a man who is quite self-disciplined in this regard. He can close his eyes and nothing distracts him until he hears the final amen.

Which brings up the question, Is it possible to overmeditate?

It is certainly something to think about.

What? Me worry?

Second, you must cleanse your mind of all worldly thoughts and cares. Don't be thinking about what's for supper or whether you remembered to pay the water bill. This is not the time to worry about vacuuming the carpet or mowing the lawn.

After you've cleansed your mind, the third critical step is to "reboot" into an entirely different sphere, preferably in the spiritual realm. This takes a little practice, because if you are like most people the cleansing of the mind is the easy part--but the "rebooting" doesn't always occur as quickly as it should. But with a little practice I think you will ultimately get the hang of it.

If you find yourself unable to connect with the spiritual realm the first few times, don't get discouraged. Actually, just to "mix it up," sometimes I purposely go straight to the more-tangible, physical sphere, which can also bring comfort and peace of mind in some cases.

The knifeman cometh

Take for instance our monthly staff meetings here at the Dixonian Institute. Normally I arrive feeling a little nervous, so I try to calm myself before we begin the meeting. This is another benefit of the art of meditation.

My nervousness is not helped by the fact that one of our staff members has a knife fetish. When he arrives he is characteristically carrying at least three knives (and those are only the ones that are visible), one strapped to his hip, one clipped to the front pocket of his pants and the other hanging from a lanyard around his neck.

Now, I've known this man for years, but in this day and age you can't take anything for granted.

Settling into my state

Thankfully, I've learned to deal with the situation and take whatever precautions I deem necessary. As President George Bush has cautioned us, we must all become more aware of our surroundings. That is why I sit near the backdoor exit (my quiet location). When I'm satisfied that I've acquainted myself with everyone's mood and temperament du jour, I begin settling into my meditative state by cleansing my mind of all my cares and worries. Then I reboot into (in this case) a physically calming state of mind by repeating within my brain,

"He's never worked for the postal service, right?"

Or "He's never mentioned flight training."

It works for me. It can work for you too. Before you know it, I've gotten my 30 minutes of meditation in for the day and I didn't even have to wrestle with a sheep.

If you follow these three keys of mental medication, they can and will change your life. It is extremely important to mentally medicate daily (preferably 30 minutes every day) whenever, however and wherever it works best for you.

If you don't practice this vital technique that has existed since the dawn of man, your spiritual and physical test score just might suffer.

Don't be a squeaker!

The June 2002 issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

Church Links  -  Addresses  -  Church Logos  -  Finances  -  Photos  -   Memorial

The Study Library  -  In Transition  -  Messages Online  -  Live Services

Back Issues  -  Subscribe  -  Email List  -  Ad Rates  -  Site Map

© The Journal: News of the Churches of God