An Art You Can Practice
The image of a cow chewing its cud is often used to describe the practice of meditation. First the cow goes out and gets some grass and then sits down and chews it awhile and then swallows it. A little later, the cow regurgitates its cud and chews some more, then swallows again. We can visualize the cow processing and reprocessing the food until it is fully digested!
Our meditation involves taking in the bread of God's Word, "chewing" on it by reading and thinking about it. Then it sinks down into our hearts, as we go about other things. Later that day, we'll bring it back again to our minds and reflect on it some more. Meditation is taking in the bread of God's Word, chewing on it, and digesting it until it becomes a part of who we are. As we meditate, the Word becomes so pleasant that we fully agree with the psalmist, "The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold" (Ps. 119:72).
Meditation begins as we read listening with all our hearts. It requires that we pay attention to the details of Scripture, but it's different from Bible study. In Bible study, we analyze the text; in Scripture meditation, we take pleasure in it and enter into it. Then we carry His Words--perhaps just a phrase from our reading--in our mind, pondering, "How can I live this? What is God saying to me?" We bring verses to our mind throughout the day, thinking on them being alert for ways to apply His words.
Dear Lord, I want to continually keep Your words before me seeking to live by them.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. 17 It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).