The most productive part of your day could be when you are doing the least.
That concept doesn’t sit well with many of us, including me. I tend to believe I can figure out everything on my own, and that decisive action is the best way to get anything done.
But, sometimes in life, we have to slow down in order to speed up.
If we make thoughtful choices, we can be more efficient and more effective. And we make better decisions by listening to the most valuable source of insight we have available.
“Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.” (Diana Robinson)
If we embark on a journey without understanding the best route to take, we just might get lost. We could spend a great deal of energy traveling along a path only to discover that we are not making progress toward where we actually wanted to go.
What Is Meditation?
We can use meditation to overcome our tendency to rely solely on our own thinking. Meditation is not complicated; it is simply when we quiet ourselves so we can listen to God in order to align our choices with his purposes.
But just because meditation is not complicated doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, in our hurried, noisy, cluttered manner of living, it sometimes can be quite difficult. But if you practice, you will get better, and you will see that it works.
“All of man’s difficulties are caused by his inability to sit, quietly, in a room by himself.” (Blaise Pascal)
To meditate, set aside some quiet time in the morning. Use prayer to let God know what you need guidance on, or what problem you are facing. Then, simply do nothing!
Don’t try to figure out the answer. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t leap into execution mode. Wait. Let thoughts come to you as they will. Notice those thoughts, but don’t try to analyze them. Just pay close attention. Listen.
“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.” (Saint Francis de Sales)
Such meditation will help you make better decisions, work on more important things, and make progress in the most productive manner.
How Does It Work?
In summary, there are several ways meditation can improve our lives as we:
Receive direction – God knows what is right for us, both now and in the future. Doesn’t it make sense that we should check in with him about which way to go?
Build our character – One exciting part of life is that we can be changed for the better, if we are willing. Working to come closer to God helps transform us into the people we are meant to be.
Fulfill our purpose – One of the reasons we are here on Earth is to live in a way that is pleasing to God. As we express dependence on him, we help fulfill what we are designed to do.
That is the step of Progress, to spend time every day in prayer and meditation. And that is how we become more productive, simply by sitting still and doing nothing.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
You may slow down for a few minutes, but your progress in life will speed up greatly.
Question: Do you believe you are always focused on the most important things in life?
Action: Spend ten minutes each morning for a month in a quiet place, listening for God’s direction in key areas of your life.