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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Recreation in Christian Meditation






Recreation has come to mean having fun, often if not usually actively, and often involves vacationing with lots of activities.  It is not uncommon to need a vacation after a vacation because not much recreating has gone on, that is renewing, reviving, or restoring, in busy vacations.  

I remember an acronym for busy:

Bound
Under
Satan’s
Yolk.

We human beings are designed to need recreating rest daily in sleep, weekly from our toils, and regularly throughout the year to reconnect with who we are and detoxify from the pollution of life.  Without this kind of recreation, we become weary, worn, and warped.

So what is a better form of recreation?  Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline discusses the recreating power of meditation, noting that the significant difference between Eastern meditation and Christian meditation is the difference between emptying and filling.  

Eastern meditation stresses the need to become detached from the world, emptying oneself, losing one’s individual personhood to merge with the Cosmic Mind, as one does is seeking the Nirvana, the extinction of desire and individual consciousness.  There is no personal God to be attached to.  The goal is to be free from burdens and pains of the reality of life.  Detachment is the ultimate goal.  

Christian meditation, on the other hand, goes beyond detachment to emphasize an attachment to God.  Rather than having us withdraw from the world, it redirects us to be able to deal with life.  We are not led to be ethereal to our humanity, but rather we are empowered to be more fully compassionate in our humanity.  Through communion and communication with the God who loves us and wants us to dwell in His omnipresence, we are filled with His love to be recreated for loving others. 

Jesus took time to be alone with God to be renewed, to pray, to be quiet, to rest.  I wonder what He might think of our modern version of recreating.  I am not against having rip-roaring fun.  That has its place.  However, if the only recreation we know is at the frenetic pace of busy and we don’t rest contemplatively to recreate, we lose more than we gain.  We miss out on something profoundly rejuvenating and fulfilling, a recreation we were made for, and we settle for tired, tattered, and twisted.

A to Z Challenge



25 comments:

  1. This was so good read with plenty of advice for us all after an hetic week.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thanks Yvonne. Yes we can all use a reminder to rest once in awhile. God bless, Maria

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  2. I'm not religious, but I will say I have a hard time meditating - I guess I have too much I want to be doing. It is really nice to just take some moments out of a busy day, though. I had to do this recently because we had a black-out ;) I couldn't even finish heating up my dinner in the microwave! All I could do was lie on the couch relaxing in darkness, by candlelight. It was quite nice actually.

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    1. Hi Trisha. Thanks for coming by. You aren't alone in having a hard time meditating, religious or not. It is a good thing to cultivate, taking time to be quiet and restful and yes to meditate for all sorts of reasons, physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Perhaps you had a glimpse of that benefit on that night on the couch. I hope you are able to do it again. God bless, Maria

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  3. We tend to forget about what's important when we're too busy. I like keep SUndays as the day of rest, and other than church, minimize actual activity. For peace of mind.

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  4. I agree that it's healthy to take time out for physical and spiritual recreation

    Julie

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    1. I am glad you see the wisdom in this kind of recreation, Julie. It is good to know I am not alone. God bless, Maria

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  5. That's right - when we meditate and pray, we connect with the Lord.

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    1. I am with you, Alex. It is good to keep the Lord central and connect regularly through prayer and meditation. God bless, Maria

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  6. Maria, I'm your newest follower - Nice Blog! Thank you for visiting my blog - I think I'll sign up to receive your posts via email too! ~Carmen

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    1. Thank you Carmen. What a blessing you are. Thanks for returning the visit. So wonderful to get connected with other like-minded people. God bless, Maria

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  7. Wonderful, timely post, Maria! I am so glad God lead you to post this!Blessings!
    Pam at 2 Encourage

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    1. Thank you Pam. I pray it will help some people. God bless, Maria

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  8. Amen! I love to meditate and be alone with the Lord. It is the best recreation for me! It revives me and soothes my soul! Blessings!

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    1. Thanks Cynthia. I appreciate your comment. It is a soul soother. God bless, Maria

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  9. Hi Maria, thank you for the reminder of detaching from the world and attaching to the Lord ... i started my Monday morning with a frenzied business ... praise God, HE allowed me to read your post, it was a gentle rebuke.

    thank you for visiting as well.

    April (bob's wife)

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    1. Hi April. Thanks for your return visit. I am glad the Lord used me to bless you today. That blesses me in return. God bless, Maria

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  10. What a delightful trip through your recent posts! So glad you stopped at my site so I could find you. I'm new to this, so I'm pretty clumsy at it still.

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    1. Hi Joan, I haven't been at it a year yet myself so I know what you mean about being new at this. So glad to have you come by. Thank you for your kind words. God bless, Maria

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  11. Beautiful picture ! and an inspiring post, its so important to meditate to re energise ourselves ! thanks for sharing !

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    1. Thank you Genevive, You are kind. I agree that it is important to take the time to be quiet, to meditate, preferably in connection with God, in order to be re-energized. Thanks for coming by. God bless, Maria

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  12. Great post! I agree with you completely. It's so important to take the time to slow down. Some of our best ideas come when we sit and just be, allowing ourselves to listen to God's still small voice.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement. I agree and we don't do enough of it these days I believe. God bless, Maria

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  13. Great post; I am with you. (though I think in the B.U.S.Y. Yolk should be Yoke)

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I delight in hearing your thoughts!