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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Contemplation

Updated on February 1, 2015

Even the ancients took the time for art.

In Oak Creek Canyon Arizona
In Oak Creek Canyon Arizona | Source

A contemplative life.

Take the time. What an interesting set of words. Do we take the time to let our spiritual side grow and flourish? Are we too busy to sit down and meditate, read and listen and yes, pray? Are we too busy to start our day off right and end our day in contemplation and review?

Yes I am afraid that we are too busy. This should sadden us and make us change our ways. But it does not in just too many of us. (yes I have used the word “too” too often here but it is to make the point) We are not confessing that it is all encompassing and a never concept, we are stressing that there is too much of one thing and too little of the other.

I have met the mellowest of people that are salt of the earth and seemingly have their days all in order. They live calm and peaceful lives taking care of a natural and healthy way of life. They eschew the trappings of the high speed world that many of us are caught up in. And yet they still do not have the time, or make the time more accurately, to imbibe in that which is necessary for a full life including some spirituality.

And yet to be fair I have met the most hard pressing and “successful” people who make the time to include daily reflection and meditation in their lives, indeed I would suggest it is why they are successful.

Let us be clear here these daily exercises are not reserved for those with a firm faith, they are available also for those with no faith and everything in between. They are not reserved for one faith and most assuredly not reserved for the “religious” among us.

Let us look at simple concepts involved.

Sound of silence.

Meditate on the good things

Even the vaunted water buffalo looks in contemplation.
Even the vaunted water buffalo looks in contemplation. | Source

Read

Reading may sound a bit strange to include here but it is not. I am not talking about reading the newspaper or a suspense novel. I am speaking of reading some type of spiritual text. A daily reflection, the Bible, mantras or even words that you yourself have written for this purpose. For many this is simply called “being in the word”, for them it is simple to read their Holy text and gather some insights and truths therein. Ok, perhaps not always easy but easy to determine what to do. For others perhaps they must search for that which they are going to read and start each day with, but it can be done.

I knew an atheist who would read quotes from Shakespeare and it worked quite well for him to get centered and concentrate for meditation. We can all get something out of “to be or not to be” We will see later that this man also prayed. The point being is that simple reading of some well written spiritual or contemplative words can be very helpful. I knew a philosopher who loved to read Descartes, how can we start off wrong with cogito ergo sum (I think therefor I am). Again, for me it is easy, I read the Bible.

Meditate

This is one of those concepts that is made so confusing to so many. Meditation can take all kinds of forms but for our purpose it is quite simple. It is simply the focused concentration on something of goodness to the exclusion of the mish mash of the world, even our own pains and tribulations. It is a place and space where we can go to clear our minds of the day to day and relax into a loving environment. Most will take their reading and focus on that. Others will go to a place in their minds where they are set free from the worries of the day. It is a relaxation to a point where we can be receptive to the goodness of life and our own spirituality. It sets us up to pray.

How about you?

Can you sit still long enough?

See results

Take the time to see the beauty

Above Sedona Arizona
Above Sedona Arizona | Source

Pray

Oh my, prayer for the non-believer would seem so hard and yet so easy for the believer. Hogwash. It is easy for all. Prayer is a supplication and the giving of reverence to a power and force bigger than ourselves. Again this is in fact easy for a believer. But it need not be hard for the questioner. Let me give an example for some contemplation. The atheist in fact believes in the world around them and can easily see just how insignificant one human may be in that huge reality of earth. They can do nothing about gravity and the world turning and of weather or oceans deep. So how do they pray? They pray that these things remain a constant. And they can ask that other’s suffering may be lessened and that good things will happen. Who and what do they ask for these things. Who cares! That is for them and their conscience. This is only an example for the variances are as many as there are people.

For me it is easy as I have a God to pray to and to give thanks to for all that is. So the point here is simply to do it. How you do it is up to you. Why you do it is up to you. To whom you do it is up to you. But it will greatly ease your life and bring a joy and peace upon you.

Let me just remind us Christians of something. We have the same God, we share God. But never forget that that God is different in the mind of every Christian. Our own thoughts are not in conformity with every other Christian. Exactly how I view God is different than how you view God, yet it is the same God. So for each of us, even if we use the same words to pray, their meaning to us is slightly different than our fellow neighbor.

Just an old favorite that reminds us to listen.

Listen

This one is too often forgotten. And that is a sad fact. Many people think that listening is reserved for those who hear voices. Well maybe there are those folks and more power to them. But for the most of us it is merely stopping the mind from noticing with our other senses and listening to the world around us. We just do not sit quiet very often and listen to the sounds of the world. In our day to day we ignore or even consider noises as distraction. Where I listen there is a clock that ticks away that I do not here through the day. There are birds singing and the occasional music in the background. I hear all these things for maybe the only time during the day.

But yes there is a more and deeper “hearing” that goes on. For many it is an insight that is revealed and for others a direction from their God. We just cannot hear these things when our lives are frenetically filled during a day. Silence is another “sound” that we fail to notice or indeed are deprived of during our day and there is nothing so calming as a true silence.

I hope that this is like a discussion to open ourselves to possibilities and good things. This sermon is in no way meant to be direction or instruction. Perhaps it will open some gates to internal dialogue and bring us to a point where we develop our own quiet time and reflection. That is the intent here. I would presume for many of us, it is just a gentle reminder and perhaps a nudge to rekindle our spiritual side.

Heavenly Father help us this day to stop and take the time to truly notice the good things in life. Lead us away from the vice of the world and into a place of quiet contemplation of the glories of this world.

A not so standard warning and disclaimer

This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me. Just leave a comment to ask to use it elsewhere and please share it.

To read more by this fascinating author visit www.thedierkerblog.com, Eric Dierker on Facebook and Pinterest and my sweet blog resipsaloquitor on google blogs.

OK I admit it, I need more publicity. If you steal this content please let me know so I can make a big deal out of it and get some press time.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am with you Frank, my hyper activity lasted until about forty. Thank you for coming by and remarking on this piece.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      eric what a nice read/sermon.. I was always the ants in the pants type fellow growing up and it was difficult .. to be still was a trying experience for me LOL again great sermon

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I saw your comment and wrote back to you. I cannot add anymore posts just yet, but I think that I have a way of getting around that one on my Welcome page with the daily Good Morning thing. Thanks for allowing me to post my link here. I know that we aren't supposed to but I think that should be left up to the author.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great job, I visited and like the feel of it.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Okay I set it up last night and have a fw things on there. I find that I can only do a limited amount of things until I upgrade and I do not have the money for that right now. HP isn't paying me much to be able to do that just yet. So I have a couple of blogs up there right now and that will have to surfice for now. Here is my link and the name of it is Things and Thoughts About Life http://thingsandthoughtsaboutlife.bravesites.com/

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Debra it seems to me that any really serious writer has to have a website. I am not so serious but it is there if I need it. Certainly you have enough followers to make it work.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I am really thinking about making my own website. I have everything that I want to do it with. I even have the advertising for it with Ratuken Linkshare and Amazon. I have thought about this for a while now. It may be a mix of a website and a blog. I am just haiving a problem with giving it a name. So today, after all the stuff going on on HP and my horrible experience with Bubblews I am contemplating for the next few days on a name.

      One name that I just came up with is "Spiced Pumpkin".

      Any thoughts will be much appreciated.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Laughing is as divine as praying. My youngest laughs at me all the time and it is a Godsend. I used to take offense at people laughing at me -- and then someone told me I was quite funny. I looked in the mirror and started laughing myself ;-)

      Thank you Ed for being here for me, I appreciate it.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Okay Eric , if you see the funny button pushed , please don't get angry , I find humor in your disclaimers ! Hey , humor is a good and a Godly thing ,No ?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Debra I really think that what you describe with animals is some of the best quality quiet time that there is. It is different for everyone. The Dali Lama said to the effect that the best meditation is good sleep after satisfying work. I find my best in hiking familiar trails and just blissing out. Thank you for your read and great contribution to this sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Carrie I am very happy that you got something out of this article. They are a true joy to write.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dora, sorry I missed you, thank you for your support. The sermons keep getting easier as we go.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Excellent Eric. Silence is Golden and it truly is. Most days I do not have any TV or radio on. Most times it is hard for me to stop and just be quiet. Oh it isn't because I do not want to do it, but it seems that when I do and things get quiet my dog wants in or out and any one of my five cats will come to bother me. Then again I do have one cat that just enjoys sitting on my lap about once a day or so and that is when I can find the time to contemplate and just listen and be still as I pet her and make her feel good. See she has sinus problems all her life and no one can figure out how to treat it as we all have tried everything we can come up with, so I massage her whole body and especially pay attention to her nose and throat area. Petting animals is supposed to relax oneself and yes it does. I massage my dog too as he has some kind of arthritis in his hind leg that he will start to kick out for no reason at all. I just did that tonight.

      I loved your sermon, really did a whole lot. Now I have to go let my dog in again. Have a wonderful evening and thanks for the uplifting comments you are leaving me. They truly do help.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 2 years ago from Northeast United States

      Thank you for the inspiration :) Well needed read.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Outstanding! These sermons keep getting better. Please keep them coming. Thanks for your commentary all aspects of contemplation.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Howdy Shanmarie, life is good here out on the coast. Well I am glad I wrote this hub as it just reminded me to spend some extra time this morning.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 2 years ago

      What a wonderful reminder to slow down, meditate, pray, and to listen, Eric. Thank you for this thought-provoking hub. :) I hope you're doing well.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That most assuredly is the good life. It just plain gave me a peaceful easy feeling just reading that comment friend. Not only do you have great blessings you know how to count and appreciate them. Thank you.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I live beside the mountains at elevation, but on the other side of me are all the modern conveniences of super this and super that, plus public transportation, banks, book stores, barbers, post office, restaurants and fast food. And I am four minutes from a modern interstate, 20 minutes from a ski resort and two universities, 10 minutes from a lake, a river, and a shooting range to boot!

      Though our kids now tend our 17 grandkids, we are a mile from their elementary school one way, and a mile from their high school the other way, as well as that same mile to two different senior centers and a recreation center and pool. Admittedly for their middle school they rode a school bus. It is 15 minutes away.

      Oh, and church? It is a five minute walk.

      With all that convenience (the hospital is a 15 minutes drive) I even have time to read, write, meditate, pray, and enjoy my wife's company and cooking!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Devika thank you for the read and comment. Certainly time changes our perspective and all we can do is help to make it a better one.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann it is good of you to come by and leave such a nice note. Little children are such a blessing in how they remind us to be more like children in how we get the richness and joy of life.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Audrey thank you so much for your support. Truly one minute in nature is worth at least five without it. I am lucky also to live near open country and I notice it when I do not take the time to enjoy it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Bill my mom loved the saying, we get too soon old and to late smart. It has taken me a lifetime to learn some of these lessons.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Life can be complicated and fun. We tend to see our lives so differently in time.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I think that, as we age, we appreciate such things more and we learn how to look at the world. I often sit and listen, especially to the birds.

      When I need something peaceful to take away the worries of the world, I look to my grandchildren; their innocence, trust and acceptance. Then I try to be more like them.

      I look forward to your sermons; they put the world into perspective and remind us of the important parts of life.

      Ann

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Once again I am treated to one of your beautiful and inspiring sermons. I'm blessed to live in the forest where I can take time each day to sit on the deck, view nature's awesome art-work and reflect.

      I concentrate on becoming one with nature's sound and symphony.

      Thank you Eric and I voted up and across (not funny) and will share this.

      Blessings,

      Audrey

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Jackie, I love that song also. I know to take the time but sometimes I just seem to get caught up in life. Thank you for your support.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is something I had to learn over time. Shutting out the distractions and just thinking about life...how many people truly do that on a regular basis. I do now but it took me seemingly forever to learn it. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Beautiful sermon Eric. We all must make time if we don't already for sure; for our own sake. Loved the Sound of Silence. One of the most beautiful songs ever. Very fitting here too. ^+