One evening... [Isaac] was taking a walk out in the fields, meditating. — Genesis 24:63
Busy people live at a fast pace. Their time is precious, their tasks are numerous, and the demands on them are unrelenting. There are not enough hours in the day, and they suspect there may not be enough years in their lives to accomplish all that needs to be done.
Business, productivity, time management, meeting deadlines, and “keeping all the balls in the air” serve to define the lifestyle of such a person. Health is neglected, marriage suffers from lack of attention, children become strangers, and spiritual life gets lost in the shuffle.
Such a person is not unaware of the situation, and he is not unconcerned about it. In fact, he promises himself that he will make the necessary changes to make his life more meaningful and restore some semblance of balance to his days. Such promises are, sadly, often unfulfilled. A heart attack, enforced retirement, or marital breakdown may thrust him into a position of contemplation and rumination. Better late than never, certainly—but how much better it would have been if he had seen the value of contemplation and meditation earlier in life?
Isaac knew the value of contemplation. Being the son of Abraham obviously had its advantages, and presumably being heir apparent had its responsibilities. With his father’s advancing years and his mother’s recent decease, Isaac could not avoid contemplating his future. Added to that was his impending marriage to a woman he had never met! No wonder “he was taking a walk out in the fields, meditating” (Genesis 24:63).
No doubt Isaac had many things competing for his attention, and undoubtedly there were numerous things requiring careful thought and wise decisions. But unless he took the time to clear his mind, escape distractions, and concentrate his attention, there was a real possibility that his life would go the way of the busy, unthoughtful man—the way of inevitable confusion and ultimate disappointment.
Isaac needed to think through the significance of the covenant God had made with his father—a covenant that included him. He could profitably ponder the way his father had handled the difficult problem with Lot. And Lot’s bad decisions and his hair-raising escape from the consequences certainly merited a degree of meditation.
Modern people should emulate Isaac, factoring time into their lives for thoughtfulness and disciplining their thought-lives to concentrate on issues other than those dictated by immediacy. Urgent and pressing matters will demand attention and get it. But it takes times of meditation to deal with ultimate, eternal, spiritual, and moral issues.
Strident and spectacular communications will arrest the attention. But it is in the quiet fields that meditation on matters of moment takes place.
For further study: Genesis 24:59-67
Content taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.