In the next two sections, Foster covers the purpose of meditation and common misconceptions.
The exercise of meditation, when it becomes habit, becomes ingrained in our everyday life. It moves from being a “law” to a “spirit” and instead of a highly impersonal theological idea, becomes a “description of daily life”. He is quick to point out that there is a proper attitude which balances the intense intimacy, with the deepening understanding that God is to be respected for his power.
I found the clarification of the first misconception to be most gratifying, since I often despair at having a ready answer for why my faith is different than other religions. Foster points out that Christian meditation is not just a matter of emptying ourselves, of detaching from the world and even our own personalities, but rather clearing our minds and hearts to allow God to FILL us with his Spirit. He cites the passage where a man who was saved by one evil spirit, becomes overwhelmed by many more because he did not then “fill his houses” with goodness. My thought is “evil loves a vacuum”
Foster states that Christian meditation, properly used, detaches us from the distractions of our busy world in order to clear the way for a stronger “communication system”. It is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. It is a tool to draw us closer to the heart and mind of God, in both the little matters of our individual lives, to the bigger issues of community failures…