I was just thinking…

If you’re sitting in a coffee shop alone without a phone in your hand…you are a very unusual sight in this day and age.

Nobody would say, “A penny for your thoughts…” For one thing, that small amount would be insulting. For another, who just sits there thinking? That’s just strange.

Meditation. We usually connect this word with monasteries, or religious hermits, or some Eastern religions. For most Americans, meditation isn’t something we connect with ordinary, every-day life.

Google defines meditation as “a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject.” 

Oh, we’re really good at written or spoken discourse—consider social media and current politics. Like a stone thrown into a pond, our written or spoken discourse makes waves that continue going out and out and out until the lap on the shore. We’re almost obsessed with sharing.

The part we often don’t do as well is considered thinking on a subject. And by considered thinking, I do not mean civil debate, persuasion, accusation, or name-calling. Meditation requires depth of  thought, homework, awareness of cause and effect, and acknowledgement of the depth of feeling of those who agree and disagree. It takes introspection, empathy, and time.

Although practiced alone, meditation is not a lonely pursuit. Through books and media we can enter the thoughts of deep thinkers. Through scripture, prayer, and the Holy Spirit, we can read God’s word and hear his voice.

My mind, my soul, my person, my body—this one-room schoolhouse called myself—needs meditation: a focused time deep in thinking. I don’t have to be sitting cross-legged in a dark room for hours at a time. I can meditate as I walk in the rain, take a shower, vacuum, walk or jog, doodle or paint, shovel snow, chop wood, or mow the lawn…

When someone asks me, “What are you doing?” my favorite answer is, “I was just thinking.”

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