Video Meditation, Part 2

“Where are we, Professor Quiggly?” asks the little frog learning his letters.
“Tad, this is the ‘O’ room, and I would advise that you duck.”
“Duck? Why?”
The professor yanks Tad down into the underbrush just as a capital letter ‘O’ comes swinging over their heads on a vine with a loud Tarzan yell, “Oooooooooooooooooo!” That letter is quickly followed by a group of lower case ‘o’s each swinging on their own vines and repeating their instructor’s sound, “Oooooooooo!”
This is another segment of a video Zach likes to have me repeat. But now he even shuts off the video and has me do it a cappella. He touches my mouth like he’s pushing the “play” button and I recite the script. His eyes intently study the movement of my mouth and his face lights into a big smile as I reach the Tarzan yell. Then he hits “play” again and we repeat. I can see his mind working hard to grasp how my tongue and lips form the words. I know he is moving closer to making those words himself.
The Bible speaks of the righteous person in Psalm 1:2 (NIV), “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Zach truly delights in his videos the way the Psalm writer says the righteous person will delight in God’s Word. Since he was a baby my wife has commented on how Zach smiles with his whole body. He still does and it is often his favorite video scenes that evoke his exuberance.
Again I am challenged by my son’s intensity. The truly righteous will react to the Scriptures just like Zach. He will repeatedly focus on it and draw enormous pleasure from it. I want to experience Zach’s level of sheer joy.
Why would the Bible inspire such a response? It won’t as long as I consider it just words on a page. But if I realize that it is as if I am looking into the face of God and watching him speak these words just to me, then I will be filled with joy knowing the Lord and Creator of the universe loves me. This is meditating on the Scriptures, not a cold, rote exercise, but a child’s joyful concentration on his Father’s words.


Video Meditation

“That’s right!  After another red apple, another green bean, comes another yellow pepper!  That means you’ve answered all 1-2-3-4-5-6 questions.  Congratulations!”

I just wrote that from memory.  It’s a quote from the game show host on a Sesame Street video after Elmo and Zoe complete the quiz.  Zach likes to play this little segment of the video over and over again.  Sometimes he has me count along with the video.  Over and over and over again we count.  Until all of a sudden he is done and he pushes me away.  I’m not sure if there’s a set number of times we have to go through it.  I keep meaning to keep count but then I forget.

But I don’t forget the words of that game show host.  They’ve been run through my mind too many times.  And then it hit me that this is what God wants us to do with his Word.  Joshua 1:8 (NIV) says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.”  God commands us to meditate on his Word the same way Zach meditates on his videos.

Meditating on God’s Word means reading it over and over again, turning it over and over in your mind.  Unlike eastern meditation that tries to empty the mind, biblical meditation means to fill the mind with the Scriptures.  It is doing just what Zach loves to do with his videos—replaying them again and again and again, studying every little detail so that he knows it inside and out.

When you do this you become aware of little nuances and details that were overlooked before.  Take the end of the movie Monsters, Inc. for example.  Sully the monster finally returns his friend, the little girl he nicknamed “Boo” to her room.  She immediately begins bringing some of her favorite toys to show him.  She brings him a Nemo toy from Finding Nemo and a Jessie doll from Toy Story 2.  I did not notice that the first time I saw the movie.  I didn’t notice it the second or third time either.  But on the umpteenth viewing of this scene while sitting with Zach I noticed these interesting little details the artists put into the story.  They didn’t have to do it.  But this attention to detail is what makes these Disney films so good.

And God is even better than the Pixar artists.  When we meditate on God’s Word we are sure to see things and understand truths on the twentieth reading that never occurred to us the first time we saw it.  I am challenged to meditate on the Scriptures with the same intensity as my boy.