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Mind Matters

Painting by Maria Kitano
Painting by Maria Kitano

Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.

It’s purpose is to clear one’s mental and spirtual vision of God, and to let his truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart….Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory and our own littleness an sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us – “comfort” us, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word-as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

J.I. Packer, Knowing God, Page 22

Make a bottle. Change a diaper. Start the laundry. Make her laugh. Dry that tear. Wipe her nose. Get her dressed. Make a bottle. Change a diaper.

My brain seems to work in three word action statements these days. Over the hours, often the minutes, I am thinking about what I currently need to do or will need to do within the moments to come all to make certain that our little one is taken care of.

I find that with all these quick to-do items the in-between moments are marked by meditation of the mundane.

Some of the women from our church are reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer. It’s really his magnum opus. It’s strong theology and doctrine balanced with the practicalities of faith. We are loving it.

That section above. The one about meditating on God. There are days its feels like he wrote it just for me.

Its a reminder, and a convicting one, to take advantage of the slow times I do have.

A call to stop thinking about baby food for the next half hour. To not worry about picking up her toys just yet. Instead to actually think about who God is and what He is teaching me.

To take time to just be in awe of Jesus and the cross because I need to take time to clear my mental and spiritual vision.

But it’s also a beckoning to meditate during the all the doing.

To speak  out loud to my daughter that the trees, the ones we are walking past and that Faye is smitten with, were created by God, that every leaf was put there by Him. To tell her about how we ask God to heal us and let her hear me pray for her snotty nose to go away. To tell her how thankful we are that God has provided all we need every time I give her another bottle.

To tell her as much as I love her Jesus loves her more, we know it because he died so we could be saved because I ever need to be humbled.

Faye is 7 months old. She doesn’t understand what all I am telling her. But telling her brings me into the folds of meditation. It opens my eyes to Gods nearness. It comforts me, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word.

And when she does understand I hope that these will lay the ground work for a little girl who loves to think about Jesus.

Taking advantage of those rare slow moments allows me to soak Him in. To sit with Him while I drink my coffee. To work out my questions and thoughts under his watchful care.

Relating Gods Love to my life. Seeing Jesus in all the doing. Learning to lean into the Spirit when its hard or just down-right numbing. These things keep me close to the cross. I sit in its shadow, where I belong. The small things keep me from becoming a visitor in the place that is truly my home.

These things bring our family closer to a culture of contemplating the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Probably not a phrase that will go on our doormat or printed on our next dinner invitation but exactly what we want to be experience and felt in our home.

I’m grateful for the reminder, Mr. Packer. So very grateful.

 

You can find other pieces of art by Maria Kitano Here

 

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