“I spent 5 years in jail. It gave me a lot of time to think.”
That’s what the guy in the seat next to me told me en route on a plane from Paris to Abuja a couple weeks’ ago. Likable, energetic, and opinionated, this thirty-something Nigerian-American from the Bronx really got me thinking. What do we allow our minds to be filled with? What should we fill our minds with?
I’m no monk, no Zen Buddhist, and no expert on meditation, but I do know the Bible says quite a bit on the topic. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” Psalm 1:2. With summer vacations this month and next there are, therefore, new opportunities for undistracted thought. We take time off work, but not time off from God. So I’m asking myself what meditation on vacation might look like:
- A Spot– Find a spot on your vacation: Maybe it’s the beach, the mountains, the ocean. Wherever your spot is, make sure to mute your Android or I-Phone. Try to get a bigger perspective on God’s creation. Use your imagination, your senses, and your mind to focus on nature.
- A Scripture– Immerse yourself in Scripture: Delight yourself with a text. Memorize it. Savor its truth. Wrestle with it until it has grasped you. Here are a few examples: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” Psalm 24:1. “God has blessed us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!” Psalm 67:7. “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” John 1:3
- A Slot–Schedule your time slot: Find a regular time on vacation when you can be still. Perhaps before the kids get up. Maybe during a noon-time nap or siesta. Figure out what works whether it’s five minutes or two hours. I like to set my watch for noon each day as a reminder of the time Jesus hung on the cross. I take that moment to meditate. Find what works for you.
Why not use your vacation as an opportunity to meditate on God and get a bigger picture of the world and our place in it? Can we benefit from time off work in ways that help us look at life with more of a godly and global twist?