Much has been written, taught, and spoken about contemplation. I find that the clergy spends too much time with the process, which confuses many people. It’s really simple; contemplation is thinking; deep thinking and reflection, yes, but it is basically concentrated thinking. Everyone can do this.
As for me, my periods of contemplation are very easy. I listen for God. I open my mind to learn what my relationship with God is. I think I know, but my brain will often not accept what we all know is true, but due to being trained by society to doubt everything, this habit is a blocking force we must break through. We must let go of false teachings.
John reminds us, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ (8:31–32).” That is, free to understand and know that God dwells within us and therefore we do not need to search for God, but we do need to enter a quiet space to listen. This is contemplation.
I try to slow down at least twice a day, putting aside the trials of the day and refreshing my need for prayer. I must unchain the Holy Spirit within to take me out of my comfort zone and bring forth my spirituality, connecting me to God’s Love, and be in the world that God created, not man; the Holy Spirit encapsulating all of God’s Wisdom and hopefully my attention and presence.
I often gaze out my window, seeing the rains coming in torrents, the winds howling through the trees bending the branches to a near breaking point. I understand that we live in a tempestuous world that does not follow man’s rules, crumbling false secure structures built by man. And yet. . . I know that I am in God’s world, safe from any permanent harm. My zest for life is supported and built by my love for God’s creation. And God’s creation is based on Love.
In my periods of contemplation, God speaks to me. I am quiet, and for a former college lecturer, that is difficult. I rise to the task because I cherish my eternal relationship with God. And it is within my periods of contemplation, my times of thinking, that I receive God’s words, love, and blessing.
©Russell Kendall Carter
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