I’m really good at meditation, if meditation is navel-gazing. I’m a thinker, a studier, a searcher outer of wisdom and my favorite wisdom is the kind that makes my head quit hurting and traffic start moving. I want the insight that allows me to get a full night’s sleep and deal with the onset of old age without aging. I meditate on my lack of friends and my need for a maid daily. Yes, I have got meditation down, but it isn’t helping anything. Waaa! It’s all still as bad as it was when I started my “contemplative” plan for life.
Even though I do all I can to figure out how to make my life better, it’s not helping. In fact, the more I work at introspection the less I live. Kierkegaard told me that the problem is that I no longer really participate in reality, I just think about how to participate in it better than I am, and the end result is worry, fear and anxiety over all the little stuff, like did I turn off the stove when I left the house. Yuck, I’m sick of it.
So what’s the answer Paul Tripp?
Glad you asked Hayley DiMarco.
“No one is more influential in your life than you are. Because no one talks to you more than you do.”
That’s what my husband says.
“You are in an unending conversation with yourself. You are talking to yourself all the time, interpreting, organizing, and analyzing what’s going on inside you and around you.”
What else would I do?
“What do you regularly tell yourself about yourself, God, and your circumstances?”
Umm, it depends on if I’ve unplugged my curling iron or not, and if I have time to go back and check. Why?
“You are always living out some kind of gospel. Your inner conversation is always hermeneutic.”
“Working out your interpretation of the Bible.”
Thank you Wikipedia!
So what you are all saying is that either I’m preaching myself the gospel or the obstacle. I’m definitely a natural born obstacle preacher, even though I know the gospel is a much better sermon topic, I most often forget, especially when I spend more time looking in than looking up.
So what do I do? How can a girl like me go from navel-gazing to meditating on the glory of our great God?
“The proactive thing is to do 4 things every morning:
1) gaze on the beauty of Christ
2) remember who you are as a child of God
3) rest in his power and provision
4) act in reliance upon him”
Okay, I think I’ve got it, and I’m gonna do it Paul Tripp. I’m going to read Isaiah 40 for some help. Oh, and Ephesians 1. I’m going to have a look at that. And I’m going to bring my mind back to the fact that if rest was important enough for God to do on the seventh day then it’s important enough for me to do as well.
“Gospel self-preaching is not the same thing as Bible reading. The Scriptures provide the material for preaching to ourselves the gospel of grace. They are the content to be taken up and applied to our lives in view of Jesus’s person and work.”
If you’d like to start to preach yourself the gospel more than the obstacle join me in making it your morning practice. Introspection makes us lonely, empty and keeps us from living in the present, so I’m done with it for now, since now is all that I really have. If you’d like more info on introspection check out Andrew Fellows’ article on the Dangers of Introspection.
In the meantime, preach yourself the gospel today! It’s the best news you’ll ever remind yourself of.