NOTE: THIS ARTICLE is a reprint from the blog of reverend Kevin Rogers of New Song Church in Windsor, Ontario and is reproduced here for your convenience. You can visit the his blog called "The Orphan Age" HERE.
Someone is sitting there quietly with head back and a slight, upward gaze. They are not doing or saying anything substantial, so you ask what inquiring minds want to know. “What are you thinking about?”
Unless you are in a coma with an absence of brain activity, there is a strong likelihood you are thinking about something. Even when you are asleep your mind will ponder some real or imagined situation.
Then there is the person who is intently concentrating on a book, a text message, a teacher or an instructional video. Their body language will often demonstrate that they are highly focused on their subject matter.
The fact is that the things we think about have an influence on our behaviour, our choices and the consequences. We all have a thought life and get to choose what we are going to pay most attention to.
Paying attention—usually you pay for things that you need or really want to have. If you pay (or hire) your attention, you will receive something in return. What is the currency with which we pay attention? The currency of attention is a wilful focusing of the mind. So what do you pay attention to?
Let’s think about meditation. In Eastern mysticism, meditation is often about emptying our minds of all distraction and attachment. In the emptied state, the meditator hopes to find a state of harmony with the universe.
In Christian meditation, there is also an emptying in order to develop a quiet, intimate state where we invite God’s Spirit to be with us. But we do not equate the universe or cosmic energy with the infinite God of the universe. For Christians, it’s personal.
Meditation is spoken of frequently in Scripture. Christian meditation is a practice intended to give shape to our neural networks and emotional attachments. Meditation is all about spiritual formation.
But what about the mundane day-to-day activities and attention we give to the simple things like working, eating, small talk and entertainment? Is meditation something that is only for the spiritual elite who spend hours praying, reading and fasting?
An examination of people in the Bible reveals farmers, shepherds, warriors, slaves, government officials, fishermen and merchants that developed habits of meditating and praying. Some had lots of time alone and some lived busy lives dealing with people all day. Either way, God speaks to the quiet monk and to the busiest worker.
We need to understand that we all meditate—we give intense thought to many things. Some of you are meditating day and night on politics, work, health and a myriad number of preoccupations. You do not have to be a prophet in a cave to meditate.
Here’s the crux of the matter in meditation. What do you allow into your mind and let it play on repeat? That’s your meditation.
Do the things you meditate on strengthen or weaken you? I think a case can be made that the contents of your mind will lead to the consequences of your actions, both positive and negative outcomes.
I want to look at the mindset that accompanies sexual temptation in particular. Perhaps the struggles around this aspect of our lives can be as daunting as a drug addiction. Let’s contrast two men that faced sexual temptation and see how their minds were poised when the temptations came. What can we observe from the thought life of Joseph and David?
I don't necessarily endorse all content from this site but it's always good to get different perspectives. https://revkevinrogers.blogspot.com/2021/02/paying-attention.htmlNo tags for this post.