Chewing the Cud

Psalms 1:2-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Scripture is clear that the person who meditates day and night is the one who has success.

What is meditation? It’s defined often using the term ruminate or as we commonly refer to it ‘chewing the cud.’  Without getting too scientific, cows along with other animals have multiple stomachs with which they can eat thereby storing the food in stomach #1.  Later on they can sit down to regurgitate the meal and ruminate on it by chewing it up fully and then swallowing it into stomach #2,3, 4, or 5.  Though we do not have 5 stomachs, God indicates that our minds are like this.  In fact he calls us to chew the cud of his Word.  We are to take in the Word of God and then bring it back up digest it and then take it in again.  Are we doing this?  But God wants us to not just do this during the daytime but apparently at night too!

Can we meditate day and night?  At first thought I imagined this was hyperbole (exaggeration for effect).  When we sleep, we know our minds are not shut down.  In fact, the very subject occupying the conscious mind as we drift off to sleep is typically driving our subconscious meditation while we sleep.  We are in affect chewing the cud mentally at night.  Go to bed angry and worrying, you will not rest well as your mind processes.  Watch a thriller and you will be discerning the details of the plot in your dreams.  So what if our daily meditation was on God’s Word and what if his Word was the final focus of our days?  Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators had a practice of ending every day with the habit of “HWLW.”  It stood for “His Word the Last Word.”  Before he went to bed, he ruminated on the Word of God.  And by doing so, Trotman said he was able to meditate day and night on the Word of God.  He also said that when he got up in the morning, God’s Word was his first thought.

Maybe it’s time to Chew the Cud of God’s Word in your life more than what you have been lately.  How about making a habit of HWLW in your life?  I am ruminating regularly on God’s Word during the day, but I’ve never even considered the night aspect.  I’m going to put Trotman’s HWLW habit into my nightly routine, at least, for the next couple weeks.  Who knows, it might be the key to success.

~Allen