Wednesday, November 3, 2010

dhyana-the group

Are you awake?

This meditation is excerpted from the book “Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now,” by Gregory A. Boyd.

Last week we looked at Frank Laubach’s book, “Letters by a Modern Mystic.” For a few moments we considered Laubach’s method of thinking of God at least once every minute of the day. At the end of the book is his pamphlet “The Game of Minutes,” in which he gives strategies for helping us to achieve that goal.

And so I guess what I’m doing now is trying to take the practice of meditation and contemplation outside of this little, 40-minute period of time one a week, and offering to you that we can do this every day, virtually all day to a small degree.

Boyd’s book is about his own journey into awareness. He shows how easy it is for us Christians to think that a life of unending prayer is only for the “Super Holy.” Boyd says that our perception of this has allowed us to develop what he calls a “secular worldview.” Out of habit, we tend to exclude God from our awareness. We still believe, he says, but God is not real to us most of the time. He says this makes us essentially “functional atheists.”  We box God into certain periods of the day or the week, isolating God’s existence from our day-to-day lives.

In doing so, we are not allowing ourselves to experience the full, transforming power of God.

Throughout Boyd’s book, he has little gray boxes scattered in the margins. Made to look like post-it notes, these boxes simply say “Are you awake?”

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” To seek first the Kingdom means we need to seek the Kingdom in each of the present moments that comprise our actual life. I have to admit I'd never looked at this verse so immediately. I always have thought of the long view. That we seek God, accept His presence in our life, and then move on to living. I hadn't thought of seeking over and over with each moment.

Take Every Thought Captive I think this is my favorite phrase in the first chapter of Boyd’s book. And even better…it’s a phrase from the New International Version of the Bible:

2 Corinthians 10:5:  “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The brain never shuts up. In order to submit every thought to God, we’re going to need to have God on our mind all the time. Don’t go overboard, though, and start trying to analyze every thought to be sure it’s turned over to God! If you do that, you’ll just end up focusing completely on yourself and ultimately drive yourself crazy! Just try to remain aware that God is ever-present and surrender your life and work to Him.

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