It’s in allowing yourself to hear a better story that you can create a better story and thus live in a better story. So why don’t we? Of course, as humans, it’s complicated and simple at the same time. As we have been learning, our lives are enveloped in story, expressed through story and created by story. We are largely driven by the stories filed away in our unconscious (scientists tell us up to 95%!) Solomon called the unconscious “the heart” and told us above all else to “guard it” because it’s who we are at the center of our being and we need to protect and nurture it. It’s the “Christ in you, the hope of Glory!”

But sometimes we are not living in the reality of the glory that is our inheritance and true identity in Christ. Oftentimes life triggers emotions bound to old stories that are not true, good or healthy and we then believe that is who we are. How do we change the stories?

Just in time, pastor Jerry kicked off a powerful three week series on meditation last Sunday while I have been in the process of unpacking the application of “the power of story.” Wow, it’s so clear — meditation is the gateway and foundation to hearing a better story thus creating and living within a better story! The beauty of synchronicity!

What’s your idea of meditation? Is it some vague notion of sitting in the lotus position repeating “om”? Is there a difference between “Christian” meditation and eastern meditation?

Human beings are capable of “metacognition.” That means we can think about what we are thinking about. We can think about the stories we are telling ourselves — but that is only if we make ourselves aware. One definition of meditation is “to take charge of your mind in order to create a state of calmness or peace.” Another definition of meditation is “to become familiar with.” So how do we become familiar with a new story, a new narrative, that releases calmness, joy and peace at the unconscious or heart level? How do we make ourselves aware of the stories we need to “put off” and the beautiful ones we are invited to “put on”? (Col 3:1-17)

Rehearse a Better Story

We were reminded on Sunday just how big and glorious our Story is in Christ. If we can rehearse this Story just a few minutes a day by “becoming familiar with” this new mind, this new heart, this new life we have been given, we are guaranteed to see changes! “Think on these things …and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4)

So take some time to think about what you are thinking about today and revise any storyline that is inferior to a God who is all perfect, personal and present love. In contrast to eastern meditation, our God is more than the “universe” (but if that is your starting point, God meets us where you are at!) Remember to begin with a God who is always present and always relational. In addition, we don’t just empty our minds as many eastern traditions teach, we fill them with a new awareness of our identity as sons and daughters called to be in union with His rest and His peace. This means we are to practice resting. (Hebrews 4:10)

Understand that as God’s image bearers we are God’s (…but not gods). We were made by relationship and for relationship. We are creative beings and make choices (for instance what you choose to create in 20 minutes of meditation right now can be a story of lack for yourself or a story of abundance!)

Any sense of separation from God is a rivaling storyline that is not found in God’s heart but only in our fallen minds. He invites us to come and reconcile with the truth of our re-union with God, one another and with our true selves through Jesus Christ!

Let the Holy Spirit take you through a new adventure by reminding you of the Story that has belonged to you all along. Creative inspiration for a new Story is waiting to be discovered by you through His Word and through His Body, the Church. Another reason to join us for our upcoming weekend with master storytellers, Paul Young and Brent Lokker!

Practically, how do I meditate?

Jerry gave us some awesome tips as well as walked us through a 5 minute meditation at the end of the sermon. Again, I encourage you to give it a listen on FaceBook (Soon to be on audio).

Make a commitment to walk through the practice of meditation at least four of the next seven days on Matthew 11:28-30 for at least __20 minutes per day, __10 minutes per day, or __5 minutes per day. Do what you can do. Committing to just 5 minutes oftentimes flows into a beautiful encounter where time is no longer a difficulty! But do not worry if you do not experience anything at first, you are learning!

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me. for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Jesus

Here are some TIPS for meditation:

1. Decide on a time, duration, place and posture. (Try sitting comfortably, first thing in the morning, before checking your phone.) Set an alarm for the amount of time you choose.

2. Begin with prayer, asking God to open you mind to His presence. Share your anticipation and excitement to encounter Him.

3. Read the Scripture passage for the week and process the context and the meaning as much as necessary so your analytical mind can be satisfied and at rest. This should be less after the first day.

4. Read through the Bible passage again, slowly, allowing yourself to stop and pause on any word or phrase that God seems to be highlighting for you.

5. Don’t pressure yourself to manufacture a big revelation or mystical experience. Our focus is the practice, because the practice is healthy.

6. Move beyond the words of the text to imaging, sensing and feeling what you believe to be true.

7. Move between thinking and praying if that is helpful. God is with you.

8. If you fall asleep, good. You needed it.

9. If your mind wanders, fine. Once you notice, return to focus. That process of wandering and returning is part of the practice.

10. If you get bored, no problem. Pushing through the boredom is part of learning any new skill.

11. Close with a brief prayer of thanksgiving.

12. Repeat daily throughout the series. (3 weeks)

13. Process what you are experiencing and learning with others.

There’s enough here to get started but there is abundantly more to learn as well — stay tuned!

Please share in the comments below your experiences with meditation and how it helped change a few of your inferior stories…or maybe your life!