Thursday, January 6, 2011


In small group this week we talked about learning to meditate on God's word.  Not just reading or studying, but really taking some time to think about and digest it.  I feel like I'm a pretty good mediator, in a very loose and undirected sense.  It comes from my dad.  I never really thought about it growing up, but dad used to just sit in the den in the dark for hours.  I always thought it was because he was a night freight pilot and couldn't sleep when he was home at night.  It probably had some to do with that, but I think he it may have been quite a bit of meditating going on.  I'm sure he would crap if he knew I was suggesting that he ever meditated.  Strange as it is, I like sitting alone in the dark myself.  I think real good alone in the dark. 

Sad thing is, I've never really done it in conjunction with my quiet time.  You have to have the lights on to read the Bible (That's changed now that you can get the Holy Scriptures in 100 languages on your Ipod).  The other problem with the way I meditate is that it has traditionally been very undisciplined.  I just let my thoughts wonder at random.  That actually changed about a year ago when I started learning how to instrument fly.  

There was some quote Pip read about meditation making the truth real, or something.  To me its about making the 2D - 3D.  Its about taking very flat text and giving life.  Allowing words to create images that exist in real time and space.  When I started learning how to fly with just reference to instruments I initially had a really hard time with holding patterns.  The point of a holding pattern in to get an airplane to a certain point and have it wait there until traffic is clear and it can go on to destination.  The problem with these points is you can't see them.  If your instrument flying you can't see anything.  If you could you wouldn't need to fly by reference to instruments anyway.  Kind of like if we could see Jesus we wouldn't need to read about him in a Book.  So, if an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) needs you to fly a hold the instructions are going to sound something like this:
“492BC, hold north-west of the Volunteer VOR on the 330 degrees radial, left turns, maintain 5000 feet, expect further clearance at 1730, time is 1712”

Now, that's a bunch of garbage.  Not much in that makes any sense at all. Its flat.  I just can't see it.  When I first started learning it took me forever to figure out how to execute that.  The biggest problem with it is there are three different ways to enter an holding pattern and you have to choose based on your position relative to the holding fix.  I could never quite get those relative positions right.  Not until I started meditating.  I would sit in the dark and read sample holding clearances and try to see them out in the dark space of the room.  It took a while but I got it.  Meditation can take that mess you just read and turn it into something you can see (tried to find a good image to use here but they were all 2D, go figure).  Anyway, that sentence up there has a lot of information in it.  Who you are. What direction you should be going.  Which way to turn.  Where to go, what to do, and when to expect further direction.  All of this is very important but it does you no good if you can't visualize it.  You have to be able to accurately place yourself in the picture it paints.  

I took some time recently to meditate, or think.  I was intentional about focusing on God and my relative position to him.  As usual a song by Andrew Peterson played over and over in my head.  

And when Elisha woke surrounded by the forces
Of the enemies of God, the enemies of God
He saw the hills aflame with angels on their horses
So in the night, my hope lives on

I see the armies of the enemy approaching
And the people driven, trembling, to the shore
But a doorway through the waters now is opening
So in the night, my hope lives on

And I can see the crowd of men retreating
As he stands between the woman and their stones
And if mercy in his holy heart is beating
Then in the night, my hope lives on

These aren't just nice Bible stories.  This is His story.  Its a story that is still alive.  A story being written.  A story we are being written into.  It seems the some of the faces change but the pattern does not.  God rescues.  He stands in the gap between us and the accuser.  Creates a way when the end seems dead. He continues to fight battles we have no hope of winning.  Can you see yourself in these stories?  Do you see the power of the will that holds back oceans?  Can you see fire in the eyes that go to battle?  Do you see compassion on a hand as it draws in the dirt?  I have been - I am now in the middle of all three stories.  

God is constant.  He is love.  He is present.  He is the fix and we must hold there.  I hope you can see it.