Footsteps in Faith: Meditation can bring devoted closer to God

| December 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Mark McCorkel
84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

McCorkel

McCorkel

The beauty of our island should help bring us wonderful thoughts of how great God is. It is so easy to get involved with our day-to-day routines and forget how wonderful our surroundings are.

These next few weeks are a wonderful time to be intentional about being thankful. This holiday season should include God, family, friends and, yes, our environment.

Making the decision to be thankful is a discipline.

There are other forms of disciplines that can improve the quality of anyone’s life. As chaplains, we get to be involved in monthly training that keeps us sharp and effective. Therefore, I would like to share one of the subjects that was recently introduced to me: meditation.

Meditation may not be new to most people, but it may be neglected in their lives. If you are like me, you have to be very intentional about practicing certain disciplines; however, I personally enjoy this discipline because of the wonderful results.

First, meditation is classified as an inward discipline. It does not include noise, being in a hurry or crowds. It includes leaving the “muchness” and “manyness” behind, and letting this inward discipline add to the value of living.

To better understand meditation, here are a few pointers that will help us.

Meditation has been described as the ability to hear God. So how does this happen? Well, for one, we have to be open to hear. Being aware of meditation and practicing it is a step in the right direction.

Thomas Kempis, a medieval Catholic monk, said that meditation is sinking down into the light of God and becoming comfortable in that posture. Remember the song, “He walks with me and he talks with me, along my merrily way.” Richard Foster, author of “Celebration of Discipline,” states that during meditation, we create an emotional and spiritual space that (like the song) allows God to construct an inner sanctuary in the heart.

I believe that it is this kind of fellowship with God that transforms the inner personality. When we get around righteousness, peace and pure joy, it is impossible to not be the same.

During our class, the instructor had us calm down by closing our eyes and concentrating on our breathing. We were to think of nothing but our breathing. He used the illustration of God being the breath of life and that breath is all we need to think of for good meditation.

This act may seem simple, and it is, but it may not be easy. Our mind may be full of thoughts that are instantly in competition with good meditation — or we may fall asleep.

The battle is on, but, no matter what your meditation experience is, the important thing is that you have one.

 

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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