Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bible Rumination and Digestion: getting the Bible into your heart

Key Practices
  • Thinking
  • Carving out time and space for thinking

According to Webster's, rumination is "The act or process of ruminating, or chewing the cud; the habit of chewing the cud." [1] Rumination is a repeated, intentional process. In the physical process, the cow exercises her will to bring up the cud, re-chew, swallow, re-chew, etc. In the spiritual process, we also exercise our will by bringing a passage to mind, thinking and rethinking, and repeating the process. Rumination is hard work, but it is the only way to send the nutrition of God's word into our hearts where the Spirit can use it to transform us and make us more like Christ. Rumination must also be intentional. As several said yesterday at Collegium, we are always ruminating on something--for good or ill; whatever we ruminate on shapes our hearts. This is a sobering thought.

Digestion is another matter. While we can do things to make proper digestion more likely, the process itself is autonomic--it happens on its own. The most important thing we can do is chewing and rumination; this sends properly prepared food into the digestive tract. We can also carve out time in our day when we set aside the stresses and concerns of everyday life, enter the throne room of God, and worship him.

In rumination and digestion, we cooperate with God in confronting our hearts with his truth and submitting to his will. Do your part; God will most certainly do his.

The course outline and take home practice for Bible Chewing and Beyond is located on the Collegium blog.

Those interested in more detail should read the Wikipedia article: Cud.

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