Scripture: Psalm 119:97-120 (NIV)
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, LORD, according to your word. Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. I hate double-minded people, but I love your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees. You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their delusions come to nothing. All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.
Given the fact that the movies are short and there’s not a lot of excitement in watching a Jedi sit down and be quiet, there’s not a lot of meditation fully shown on screen. There are a few times, like before Qui-Gon heads into his final clash with Darth Maul or especially after the Jedi Kanan Jarrus on Rebels was blinded this year (but even before), that we see them take time to stop and think. Often that part of Jedi training is given short shrift. It’s implied that Yoda on Dagobah and Obi-Wan on Tatooine spent time pondering the Force, trying to commune with it and consult with it, but again, that’s not a focus of their time on screen.
The writers of the Gospels didn’t quite have the same issue, because they did point out when Jesus went away to pray or spend quiet time with His Father, but that’s not often the first things we think of when it comes to His ministry. We think of the miracles, the parables, and the suffering, but spending time meditating on God’s Word was also key to what Jesus was doing.
It is sometimes tough for us to find the same joy in meditating on God’s Word, especially the law like the Psalmist talks about today. After all, many years separate us from that writing and things have changed when it comes to written communication. We can find them dusty or hard to understand if we use older translations or can miss the majesty and true meaning of the words with some of the newer “easy-to-read” ones. Besides, prayer and meditation, well, they take time and it feels like time is not something we have an abundance of these days.
When we do spend time in God’s Word, though, things can start to become clearer and more bearable. We can get closer to the heart of God when we read what He is telling us, what He wants us to know about Him, about us, and about life. As we get closer, His joy becomes our joy and we truly do enjoy the time we spend reading and contemplating His message. Find some time to quiet your mind and hear God speaking to you today!