Because of his size, our St. Bernard can’t be trusted with just any bone or chew toy. Large and practically indestructible, his favorite toy stays in the family room where it can keep him occupied on family movie nights. Sometimes we have to adjust the volume on the t.v. to accommodate the sound of Tucker’s enthusiastic meditations.
Isaiah 31:4 uses the word hagah to describe a lion’s growling over its prey, a word denoting total focus–as in the way Tucker savors his own precious bone. Typically, hagah is translated as “meditate” as in Psalm 1:2: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” The believer is called to a life of meditation, of chewing and swallowing, of entering fully into the experience of reading and knowing Scripture.
Sarah Geringer is one of those chewers and swallowers herself, and in Transforming Your Thought Life: Christian Meditation in Focus she invites readers into the practice of Christian meditation as a tool for absorbing, imbibing, feeding on, and ingesting truth as a substitute for error. Joining the likes of Thomas Chalmers, Geringer argues for the “expulsive power of a new affection” as God’s thoughts and values, communicated through the Bible, become a replacement for a host of negative mindsets that plague us and range on a bandwidth from negativity and passing discontent to crippling self-criticism, toxic unforgiveness, and debilitating anger or guilt.
Christian meditation, says Geringer, differs from other branches in that it is, “simply the practice of thinking about Scripture and communing with God.” (Loc 168) Through personal anecdotes and excerpts from excellent resources, she demonstrates that the spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, and social benefits are all well worth the effort of forging the habit of meditating and of making room for it in every busy day.
When we open the Bible and our minds at the same time, we enter the world of Truth. Spiritual reading accompanied by deep thinking serves as a source of nourishment for the believer who makes the commitment to chew, gnaw, and meditate on God’s Words–and then to follow all our reading and our thinking with actions that flow from loving obedience and a new heart.
Many thanks to Leafwood Publishers and Net Galley for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.
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