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  • Writer's pictureKaren Pennington

Hidden Metal: Meditation Defined

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Something on me set off the security alarm while walking into Walmart the other day. The alarm went off again when I left the store. A few days later while in the mall I set off an alarm just by walking past a store, without even going into it. The issue was with my feet, or rather on my feet.

A few weeks ago I got this great deal on a brand new pair shoes that had been donated to a thrift store. (The retail price was about $70, but I only paid $1.) The shoes had seemed unusually heavy to me when I first held them. Still, it took me a few minutes of silent reflection to realized that I must be wearing steel toed shoes with enough metal to set off alarms even from outside the store. At today's rates, I'm pretty sure I could put a downpayment on a small home with the amount of metal I am currently wearing on my feet.

So basically, my shoes have a hidden alarm trigger (or perhaps hidden value) that I could not determine until I had some time of focused thought to discover what was there. That made me think of how important it is to regularly slow down and focus our thoughts, to drink in what matters. I am often so overly active, in constant "upload" mode. If I don't take the time to rest and receive, to intentionally focus on what matters most, I miss out on so much. The word meditation often gets a bad rap in our modern society, but that's exactly what it is and what it does.

Meditation in its purest sense is simply focused thought. Focusing our thoughts on the wrong things can be very dangerous, toxic even. But when we specifically choose to "Take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5 NRSV)," we invoke beautiful moments of revelation and clarity.

Psalm 139:23-24 says: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." This isn't about God literally searching and finding us. God never lost us, and the Lord knew us thoroughly before we were even born. These verses are rather a plea to help us discover ourselves in light of God's grace, to direct us on the right path and help us identify and remove what keeps us from God's best in our lives.

I really love these shoes, and I'm gonna keep wearing them. It feels like I've discovered hidden value in them, even if it does cause a little extra raucous when I enter Walmart. I also take joy in the knowledge that God values me infinitely, triggers and all, and I look forward to all of the beautiful, amazing things the my Lord will continue to reveal to me as I "set... [my] mind on things that are above (Colossians 3:2)."

Click here to purchase Karen's book, An Anointed Mess: Discovering the Daily Adventure of Grace.

Click here to read about meditation in Psalm 139.

Click here to read about how and where to focus our minds in Colossians 3.

Click here to read about a helpful form of Christian meditation.

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