STONE FIVE CONTINUED
Connect: Not only will I try to discern through mental activity, but I will also discern by connecting with The Divine through prayer, meditation, and contemplation.
Instruction: Pause to reflect.
Contemplation is a simple practice that involves taking time to pause and reflect. When we get in a rush and don’t take time to think things through, we often find we make decisions that, upon further reflection, should not have been made. One example of these kinds of decisions is when we allow a charismatic salesman to talk us into something. At times, that salesman could be someone pandering goods, and at other times, it could be a religious leader pandering their form of salvation. We often regret decisions that we make in the spur of the moment. I distinctly remember allowing a salesman to talk me into a set of golf clubs that I couldn’t afford. His passion for the clubs and what it could do for my game convinced me to make a decision I later regretted when I tried to return the clubs which were “guaranteed to improve my game or my money back” — and the clubs didn’t improve my game. Had I taken time to contemplate the decision without allowing outside voices to crowd out my common sense and my own ability to think clearly and rationally, I probably would have said “No” and saved myself a lot of headaches.
Contemplation is to prayer and meditation what problem-solving is to opposing voices. Sometimes, however, the voice we listen to is the one that speaks the loudest and not the one that will necessarily give us the better outcome. We are human, and our egos get involved. On our spiritual path, we find maturity when we recognize that The Divine voice always can be trusted, and if there is a conflict, the voice of The Divine will always direct us in the way that is in our best interest. When we feel rushed and we don’t think we are able to take the time to contemplate a decision that begs for an immediate answer, our best course of action is to follow our heart. If we have spent time in prayer, meditation, and contemplation, we will have set some solid decision-making techniques in place and that will help us connect to our heart.
Throughout the course of this day, when you’re faced with a decision, take time to contemplate your options. This could be something as simple as a decision as to how to spend your time, what you will eat, or even what movie you watch. This is a simple exercise designed to help you develop the practice of contemplation on a regular basis. We don’t need to use this technique every time we go to the refrigerator to select our food, but it can help us develop our contemplation muscles.
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