I just started reading a book called Meditation and Communion with God: Contemplating Scripture in an Age of Distraction. My house is basically a library of books like this, due to Marshall’s three-year stint at seminary, so every once in a while I’ll pick one up and start reading it.
The title of this one stuck out to me because I definitely live a life of distraction, and it definitely affects my ability to meditate on scripture. I was a distractible person before I had the world at my fingertips on my iPhone, and before I had two young children. As you can imagine, these developments have not helped.
I realized last night as I was reading that I was having a terrible time concentrating on what I was reading. My mind is so trained to constantly be looking for the next thing that I could barely keep my eyes on the page for more than a minute. And I often had to re-read whole paragraphs because I would get to the end of them and realize I hadn’t retained anything.
So here I am, reading a book about how to meditate on scripture, wondering how on earth I’m going to learn to slowly contemplate the words of the Bible when I can’t even get to the bottom of a page in this book.
The book lists all of these statistics about the world we live in today, and how busy we’ve made ourselves, and how that affects the time we have to read the word. And I completely agree. I hate being busy. I know you know those people who are always complaining about how busy they are, but they do it to themselves because really deep down they love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, I am not one of those people. Call me lazy, but I enjoy free time, and I hate having to-dos hanging over my head.
But here’s the thing, which I think I’ve mentioned before: I have two small children. Let me tell you, I would love having plenty of time to sit and meditate and pray each morning, to walk in the woods and soak in the beauty of God’s creation, to journal for hours about His word. But that’s just not reality for me right now. I can’t not be busy. It’s enough for me to get the laundry done and the trash taken out and dinner cooked and the dishes cleaned before I feed my baby one last time at 9 pm and put her to bed at ten right before I lie down and hope to fall asleep immediately so I can be ready for the next time she wakes up in the middle of the night. I’m trying to make a cleaning schedule so I can be better about keeping up with things like mopping and cleaning the bathrooms, and so far it has been a complete and utter failure. Because if I did all of those things once a week (one cleaning schedule I saw on Pinterest listed washing the walls in each room as part of the weekly schedule. WASHING THE WALLS! Who are these people???), I would never play with my children, never eat, never sit down, and probably be a very mean human.
So how am I supposed to meditate on scripture when I can’t even keep my house clean? Well, I don’t know yet, but I’m going to try. Because here’s the thing. My relationship with the Lord is much more important than the dust bunnies under my couch. I may not have enough time in the day, but somehow I make time to eat, shower (at least twice a week), brush my teeth, wash my face, check my Facebook, check my Instagram, check my email, respond to texts, make phone calls, even watch the occasional TV show. Ugh, writing that out is convicting. I’ve got to get my priorities straight. No matter what I say is the most important thing, what I do reveals what is really important to me. I’ve got to make God an actual priority in my day-to-day life, not just a theoretical one in the grand scheme of things. The devil is in the details, isn’t he?