Below are some additional interactions on the article: Silence and Solitude. Read it first.
A word you may have heard before when it comes to meditating is ruminate. This word, as defined by Webster’s dictionary means:
1 : to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly
2 : to chew repeatedly for an extended period
1 : to chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed : chew the cud
2 : to engage in contemplation : Reflect
Not only that but the etymology of it (a really long word which just means origins) is this:
1533, “to turn over in the mind,” also “to chew cud” (1547), from L. ruminatus, pp. of ruminare “to chew the cud, turn over in the mind,” from rumen (gen. ruminis) “gullet,” of uncertain origin.
Isn’t that cool! A word that is acitvely used today to mean meditate, contemplate and think over actually means “to chew cud.” Ruminate on that!
What are the things in your life that feed your soul—waters the tree God desires to make of you? (Psalm 1) Write a list or your thoughts in your journal and try to do one this week. Journaling is one thing that people of all types and walks of life have consistently identified as “food for the soul.” It will help you reflect on God’s Word and the state of your heart. If you think you need some accountability, ask a trusted friend, leader, or parent to check in with you every day. They don’t have to read it; they can just glance to see it’s there!
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people,
who do not follow the example of sinners
or join those who have no use for God.
Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord,
and they study it day and night.
They are like trees that grow beside a stream,
that bear fruit at the right time,
and whose leaves do not dry up.
They succeed in everything they do.
But evil people are not like this at all;
they are like straw that the wind blows away.
Sinners will be condemned by God
and kept apart from God’s own people.
The righteous are guided and protected by the Lord,
but the evil are on the way to their doom.
Perhaps you have never thought about whether you are introverted or extroverted. A lot of people don’t start to notice that about themselves until later in life. Neither is better than the other. There are some very important people in history from both sides. The fact is, the world needs both! But it is important that you know which you are. If you don’t it’s easy to get run down and irritable because you are not properly caring for yourself. On the flipside it is easy to ignore setting aside specific time for yourself, God, or even someone special in your life because you are too busy running around. Check out this quiz and see which you are!
Isaiah 49:8-13—Another look at this Old Testament lifestyle of solitude, and God’s restoration of his people through it.
Mark 1:29-39—Jesus sets an example for us from the pattern in his own life.
Joshua 1:8-10—God tells his people to make sure to study his Law daily—day and night.
Acts 17:10-12—While the young church was growing, there was a group of people in Berea (village in modern-day Greece) that had a reputation for knowing God’s Word.
Psalm 13—A great one to see ourselves wrapped in God’s loving arms.
Psalm 1—A challenge to see how reading the Bible can make you be like a strong tree that can survive if not thrive in all places. Choices we make have a huge impact on our outlook and life.
Psalm 119:47-48—Another song with a commitment to study and to meditate.
Psalm 46—Stop fighting (cease striving, be still).
Zechariah 2:13—A request to be silent and wait for the Lord’s arrival.
Psalm 77—A distress call.
Small Group Guide:
Large Group Guide:
- Can you think about your favorite home you have lived in? What makes it your favorite? Now take verse 6 of Psalm 23 and apply it to your home being good and filled with love from our Lord. Re-write the verse or whole psalm in your own words. Try to let it speak to where you are at right now.
- As you process your life, make some goals or priorities that you need to set for being the person God wants you to be. Write that list out and stick it in your Bible by Psalm 1. If you don’t have a Bible, ask your chaplain or Club Beyond/youth leader.
- Are there any enemies that you have that make you want God’s protection? If so, what do you need in order to pass through the darkness and fear that you are going through or have gone through? (Psalm 23:4–5) Write a prayer telling God about this fear/concern and asking for his protection.
- Try rewriting or meditating on a Psalm. Chew on it. Let the words seep into your soul. Journal your insights. Write a prayer or song. Or maybe dance to your prayer to God about what he told you in the verse.
- Determine what time of day that you can set aside for Bible reading and journaling. How can you make this a reality and not a fleeting dream? Put it on your cell phone or calendar. Ask someone to check in on whether you have done it or not.
This deer takes chewing the cud seriously! Just makes me glad we meditate on things in our mind rather than our mouths:
Here’s another one of a camel. That jaw has got some serious range to it!