Tuesday, April 16, 2013


One of the defining marks of life in this decade is DISTRACTION. There and hundreds of opportunities to be distracted in every second of our lives. In fact, if you are like me, you are not only distracted every few seconds/minutes but you are multi-tasking which gives that strange sensation of being distracted from your distractions. I have even found myself irritated by a distraction only to discover that it is the thing I was thinking about/working on in the first place (if that makes sense to you, you have problems!).

One of the negative consequences of life filled with constant distractions is that we lose the capacity to focus. Our minds cannot stay on one thing.

Now I need to clarify something. Thoughts are fluid, you can't actually think one thought for a long time. Life is fluid as well. Each moment only exists in that moment. Then it's gone (into history and memory) and there is another moment. So in effect, when we think on the same thing for more than one moment, we are actually bringing that thing back into our minds again.

Focusing on the same thing happens when we bring something back to our minds over and over again in one moment after the next. I call this practice "reflection" and I think it is becoming a lost art.

Now let me explain what I am becoming more and more convinced is easily one of the top 2 or 3 practices for people who want to know and walk with God. SCRIPTURE REFLECTION. Scripture reflection is as simple as taking a verse, a line, a passage, a chapter or a story from scripture and bringing it back into one's mind over and over. This can be done for 5 minutes in a focused effort or it can be done on and off over a day, a week, a month or even a year. One person I know does what he calls, "scripture soaking"; he picks a chapter of the Bible to reflect on for an entire year! But what I really want to encourage you in today is daily reflection, so let me explain what I hope everyone who reads this will begin to do.

1. Read the Bible every day. Read a chapter, read following a reading program, read a few verses...whatever...just read it every day. I don't think I have known anyone who did this consistently without picking the same time and place every day to do it. It might take some patience, persistence, practice and experimentation but if you are determined you can do it. You can't reflect on what you don't read (just to clarify, "reading" in this context includes listening for those of you who listen to the Bible on your ipod or whatever).

2. As you read, watch for the verse, the line or the story that you are going to reflect on. Invite the Holy Spirit to LIGHT UP a verse for you. Don't stop your time in the Bible until you have something you can take away and reflect on.

3. Think about it. It's that simple. Think about the verse you chose. Think about what it means for your life today. Think about what God is saying to you in it. Ask it questions. Argue with it. Say it out loud. Mull it over, mutter it. Sing it. Apply it. Write it. Type it. Print it. Pray it. Sign it (you would have to learn sign language for this but it would be cool).

4. As you do, realize that God is working in you. This is the cool, miraculous, supernatural thing about God and the Bible. As we reflect on God's word, something crazy happens! The Holy Spirit shows up, sometimes subtly in ways we can barley recognize...sometimes in ways that explode our soul. Where does faith come from? "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the the Word of God." Rom. 10:17. ...I am so tempted to write the dozens of spiritual things that take place when you meditate on God's word and His Spirit moves in your heart. But maybe better would be to share with you the testimony of a guy who did this and was blown away by the effects. His name is David. His story is written in Psalm 119. Here are a few verse from it. Maybe you could even reflect on them now. :)

Psalm 119:9-16
How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 I have recited aloud
all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.