Sick Body, Renewed Mind

Today's a sick day for me. I've battled this heaviness in my chest, sore throat and general weariness long enough and so I'm actually going to see the doctor later this morning. My self diagnosis? Something akin to bronchitis. But we'll see what the doc has to say.

Meanwhile I have work to do as well. I won't be tackling the dusting or vacuuming (that's one of the perks of having some sort of tiring respiratory illness) but I'll have to finish up the article that is actually due right now. Fortunately I can do that while lounging on my sofa.

But what else will I do? I have the tendency to spiral down emotionally when I'm not feeling well physically. Do you do that too? But I don't want to host a pity party that I'm too tired and sick to attend myself. So I've got a different plan for the day.

I read this morning in Romans 12:2 that if I don't want to fall into the same bad habits I'm prone to slip into over and over I'll need to be transformed or changed. And the best way to do that, according to the same verse, is to have my mind renewed. That's where most of our behavior actually starts you know, in our minds. But how can our minds be transformed?

I've found that one of the best tools for renewing my mind and transforming my behavior is meditation. And no, I'm not talking about striking an awkward yoga pose, emptying my mind, chanting senseless phrases, and focusing on a peaceful meadow. The way I see it, that kind of meditation calms you for the few minutes you can manage to sit still and picture daisies, but after that you're just the same person you were before you crawled into your pretzel configuration.

On the other hand, when we meditate on God's Word we're guaranteed that His living word will do a lasting and supernatural work in our minds that actually changes things. So that's the kind of meditating I'll be doing today. Besides I hurt all over way too much to strike an awkward pose. Here's how I meditate on God's Word:
  1. Choose a scripture verse or passage that has meaningful significance to you. I like to choose a verse that feeds some spiritual need I have at the time. And believe me, they're in there! God wants to feed our souls and He does so through His hearty and sustaining Word.
  2. I like to write the passage on a 4 x 6 index card and put it in a small photo album where I keep all the verses I am currently meditating on and even attempting to memorize. Writing it out helps me really think about what the verse means.
  3. I spend time mulling over the scripture. Did you know that the Hebrew word for "meditate" most commonly used in the book of Psalms actually carries the connotation of murmuring. That could be why so many people think you need to hum when you meditate. But actually the murmuring referred to in the word's definition is the humming sound produced when we talk to ourselves. In other words, meditating is simply talking to yourself about something, hashing it out, looking at it from all the angles and explaining your thoughts to yourself. So whether you actually talk out loud to yourself or keep it silent, meditating boils down to having an internal conversation about the matter at hand.
  4. However, the difference in meditation and worrying, which is something else we tend to do as we talk aloud to ourselves, is that meditation includes God. So talk with God about the scripture you've chosen. Ask Him what you should learn from it, take away from it, and believe or change as a result of its truth.
  5. I try to meditate on my chosen scriptures throughout the day whenever I have a few minutes. I definitely think over them in the morning, but I also try to mull them over several more times throughout the day--perhaps as I sit on my back porch in the late afternoon, maybe as I eat lunch by myself, or potentially as I get ready for sleep at night.
  6. I've tried to make meditation on scripture a daily practice in my life. I'll admit that there are many days when I don't spend much time chewing on my scriptures, but I can see a definite transforming difference when I've been consistent about it. In fact, I will tell you that scripture meditation and memorization has made more of a difference in my life than Bible study. And I love me some good Bible study. But I'm convinced that we can study the Bible without ever being transformed by it. Study feeds us with knowledge and understanding; but meditation feeds our soul and changes our thinking. And in the end it transforms our lives.
So while I won't be doing much physical today, I can still accomplish a lot if I spend my time dwelling on the Word of God. Now, if I can just keep the television off and resist the pull of the Internet :)

Have a good one!