Our generation has been described as the “quick-fix” age, a generation in which the servants of Christ find it a constant battle to rise above the environment in which we live. It is the age of instant solution, fast results and accessible entertainment of every kind. This society has produced a generation of youth who are finding it difficult to concentrate for periods of time unless the senses are constantly entertained or gratified.

Living amongst the “quick-fix” type culture has its effects on our expectations in daily life, whether it be with the microwave, the dishwasher or remote control. Subconsciously, whether or not we are even aware that this environment affects the way we think, we are conforming to it in the ordinary course of life. Therefore it begs the question, if the normal practices of life have their effect, what then about the evil more insidious and barbarous influences bombarded at us from bill boards, buses and magazine covers? How then does the spirit mind develop, let alone flourish, against this type of evil? The answer lies in learning the art of meditation.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves whether we are being affected by our environment. Are we quickly bored in our spare time? Do we feel an urgent need to be quickly entertained and then find ourselves in a daily “roller-coaster ride” in life, never stopping and analysing our development in the Truth? If so, it is probably because we have not established the discipline of meditation.

While the carnal mind thrives on a constant course of instantly satisfying stimuli, the development of the Christ mind is a steady, slow and consistent process. It is Divine. The sort of qualities the Word of God instils, like patience and longsuffering, prayer and meditation, are developed over a length of time. This is called Spiritual growth. Meditation then is an integral part of spiritual growth. Perhaps we have never considered that it is possible to use our time and opportunities away from the more formal occasions, ie. meetings and studies, to read and enhance our spiritual growth. In the context of this consideration, meditation is the essential need for efficient utilisation of our time and thought away from open exposure to God’s Word. How can our minds and hearts be stayed upon Yahweh our God during times of travel, work, eating, resting, etc? There must be a way of fixing our hearts on things Divine during the mundane activities of life. As with David the Shepherd King, the law was his meditation all the day. The law of God was a fixation, a source of pleasure, a way of life. The Psalms do not reveal David’s meditations as a case of rigid discipline, but a joyful escape from the rigours and distractions of life.

How then do we set out on a course of meditation, if it is the utilisation of time away from open exposure to God’s Word? The most vital ingredient is preparation. Preparation during these times of open exposure to God’s Word. The more diligence we apply in time, effort and energy during these preparatory occasions, then while we are travelling, at work etc, the spiritual growth continues and the mental discipline and effort gives way to comforting, refreshing and elevating thinking.

There are many ways we can develop the art of meditation. Little notes containing appropriate quotations posted around our home or office – one such ever-relevant reminder above a telephone in one Christadelphian home was, “Only Jonathan and David knew the matter”.

We can try and recall a key chapter and verse several times during the day from our daily readings. A useful suggestion has been to focus on one subject during our readings, eg. prayer, and note down all relevant references to that subject. We can also carry a small book (eg, “The Blood of Christ”) for digestion during various parts of the day, or even at our bedside for a few moments reading before retiring. Another suggestion has been to keep an alphabet book for a variety of quotations on different subjects. Under “T” would be relevant quotations about the tongue and under “W”, wisdom etc. The rewards that come as a result of this sort of preparation will be manifested in the established habit of meditation, that will eventually become a spontaneous way of life, reflected in the intimacy and joy of relationship with our Father in Heaven. Therefore “whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS”.