3 Ways Meditation Heals Our Hurry

As soon as my feet hit the floor each morning, my mind is hit with a thousand thoughts. Schedules. Tasks. People. Errands. Chores. You know the drill; I’m not special or more busy than anyone else. This is life. Fast paced and full, we hurry and hustle. I don’t mind full. But I do mind hurry.

How do we heal the hurry? How do we live a life that is meaningful and purposeful, but not crazy, over-worked, and insane?

Lately I have gravitated toward meditation.

I know—any number of images can come to mind when you hear the word meditation. But I am talking about the purposeful, quiet, mindful practice of letting go of stress and anxiety, and receiving peace and truth from God.

I love how Richard Foster in “Celebration of Discipline” explains meditation from a Jesus-centered point of view:

Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word. It is that simple. I wish I could make it more complicated for those who like things difficult. It involves no hidden mysteries, no secret mantras, no mental gymnastics, no esoteric flights into cosmic consciousness. The truth of the matter is that the great God of the universe, the Creator of all things desires our fellowship.
— Richard Foster

The simplicity of stopping, listening, and then obeying God’s voice is refreshing. It doesn’t have to be hard. And it is starting to heal my hurry in three ways:

1. Meditation slows us down.

We have to stop, be quiet long enough to listen, and breathe slowly and deeply. You cannot meditate and be a crazy person running in every direction. There is no room for hurry here. Slowness is slowly spilling over into my schedule. And it’s lovely.

2. Meditation gives us space to lay down our cares.

I love to open my hands face down and name all the things that I am worrying about, one by one, laying them down at the feet of Jesus.

3. Meditation gives us space to hear God.

After I name as many cares, stressors, anxieties, and fears that I can, I turn my hands face up and have a listening posture. I wait for God. And it’s good.

Richard Foster explains many spiritual practices in “Celebration of Discipline” and his thoughts on mediation are so helpful:

  • "Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind: Christian mediation is attempt to fill the mind. The two ideas are quite different.” 

  • "Meditation sends us into our ordinary world with greater perspective and balance.” 

  • "Bonhoeffer says, “…just as you don’t analyze the words of someone you love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the Word of Scripture and ponder it in your heart, as Mary did. That is all. That is meditation.”

What can this look like?

One suggested way from Foster (out of many) is “‘Palms down, palms up.’ Begin by placing your palms down as a symbolic indication of your desire to turn over any concerns you may have to God. Inwardly you may pray, “Lord, I give to you my anger toward John. I release my fear of my dentist appointment, I surrender my stress about not having enough money, I release my….” Key words: give, release, surrender

After several moments of surrender, turn your palms up as a symbolic indication of your desire to receive from the Lord. Stay in silence. Do not ask for anything. Allow the Lord to commune with you, to love you. If impressions or directions come, fine. If not fine.”
The goal? Listening.

5 Day Meditation Challenge:

Try meditating for 5 minutes each morning. See how it changes your day. Obviously the book “Celebration of Discipline” has highly influenced this post—I encourage you to read his thoughts and suggestions! It’s a classic in the Christian world.

May you find meditation healing your hurry.  

Amy Seiffert