On meditation...

When I was young, prayer for me was about asking God for stuff. And honestly, I think that is an okay place to start because it begins the conversation.

You need stuff. God is a provider. And, since He is actually interested in us, He listens and responds.

But it is only the beginning of the relationship. And we learn the first time we are sixteen and ask God for a cherry red 66 Mustang and He gives us our dad's four-door Ford Fairmont without a/c that God isn't Santa Claus.

After awhile, as our hearts become more like His, we start to notice things outside of ourselves. We pray for the things that move us. Like the lady in the parking lot whose dilapidated car barely starts. Or a friend we know is struggling. Or when there is a global tragedy that just seems too big to process.

And even now in my forties, I still actively practice both types of prayer. But in the past few years, I've discovered something new...the practice of simply being with God.

It started with Father Keating's book, Open Heart, Open Mind. I was walking through Half Price Books and saw the book on the shelf. I flipped it open and started reading from the middle, then bought it and took it home. The thing is that "just being" with God is difficult. Our minds are active. They chase the grocery list. They wonder who played that guy in that film. They suddenly remember that they forgot to buy a Father's Day card.

Father Keating's book teaches techniques to help quiet the mind. But mostly, the thing that resonated with me was his very lovely description of God. A God who wanted to be with us. Who didn't mind if we fell asleep in His arms. One who didn't measure our worth by how well we kept our thoughts focused on Him, but who loved us and waited for us to bring our attention back to Him.

The practice of meditation is actually just that...a practice. There are many ways to do it. You can choose a scripture and think on it. You can focus on gratitude. You can simply sit open and quiet before God in His presence.

There is much more I want to write on this, but I should probably step away from the computer and get ready for work. More at another time...

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall