What does it mean to meditate?
“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” Ps 119:15 NKJV
Another word for meditation is rumination. Rumination is what a cow is doing when she chews her cud. The cow eats grass, chews all she can, and then swallows it. It sits in one of her stomachs for a while, and then a little later, she burps it up—with renewed flavor. The cow chews on it some more and swallows it again. This process continues in all four stomachs. That’s rumination. The cow is pulling every ounce of nourishment from the grass. And meditation is simply thought digestion. Meditation doesn’t mean putting your mind in neutral and thinking about nothing. On the contrary, it’s thinking seriously about what you’re reading. For example, you dwell on one verse of Scripture and ask, “What does this mean for my life?” You talk to yourself about it and talk to God about it. The Bible says this: “Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise…And God, who gives peace, will be with you” (Php 4:8-9 CEV). Notice that we are to ponder different categories of things and, by implication, to avoid thinking about the opposite kind of things. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” You need to spend time every day—a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes—where you sit down, read a portion of the Bible, and think deeply about what you have just read. Then talk to the Lord about it in prayer. That’s the starting point for spiritual change and growth.