Christian Reverie is a form of Christian meditation where you immerse yourself in the beauty of God’s creation and allow God to pleasantly transport you beyond your own small world. Christian Reverie meditation is a very healing and filling meditation method because it moves your focus from our own problems and life and places your focus on experiences of awe, wonder and thankfulness at God’s creative power.
Here is an online experience you can do to give you virtual practice in mediating using Christian Reverie. After you’ve read the following steps you’ll find a slide show of photos I took late in the afternoon on a November day on the beach on Hilton Head Island, SC. You’ll use these pictures to try the simple steps to feelings of peace and closeness to God that comes through meditating on his goodness through the wonder of creation.
1. Prepare for your virtual Christian Reverie walk on the beach by recalling all of the sensations you might feel as you look at the photos.
Most of us can recall pleasant moments walking along the shore of the ocean, a lake or a river. Look at the photos, imagine yourself there, notice details and connect it with experiences you have had walking by the water. Use your memory to remember the sensation of such a walk, such as the sound of the waves on the beach, the feel of the wind blowing on your back, the taste of salt in the air.
2. As you scroll through the pictures, allow yourself to dwell on things that feel beautiful to you.
The meditation entry point of Christian Reverie is to experience a feeling through the things God has created that they are good, beautiful, pleasant or wonderfully made because God is good. As you look at the pictures, allow yourself to sense something beyond the structure of the scene. Is there a color that captures your attention? A pattern of light and shadow? A natural formation? Don’t try to analyze what you like, simply allow yourself to enjoy the elements that most speak to you, captivate you and please you.
3. Start with simple, general thoughts and feelings about the goodness of what you are experiencing and connect them with a knowledge that God created it for our pleasure.
Whatever good sensations, thoughts or feelings come your way, place them in your heart as having come from God, the Creator. You are experiencing this goodness of nature and God the Creator. Sometimes I like to start out my walk with the conscious intention of this being a time of enjoying God and his beautiful creation and then I lose myself in the moments that follow without any sort of need to form words in my mind. Other times I like to have a few words to help me focus on God’s presence such as, “God, that’s beautiful. I receive that as a token of your majesty and greatness.”
4. Let the experience evolve naturally as the Holy Spirit leads.
As you immerse yourself in natural beauty prayer, you don’t know what you will be seeing, noticing or feeling next. Allow yourself to see this as a short journey where you are letting yourself be led by a sense of discovery.
5. Embrace any Bible verses or lyrics to hymns or songs that come to your mind.
Often when I’m practicing Christian Reverie, a Bible verse or phrase might come to my mind. Other times it might be the words of a hymn or Christian song. As I scrolled through these pictures the words came to my mind, “The heavens are telling the glory of God.” (See Psalm 19:1-6) Don’t worry if you think it might be a phrase from the Bible but don’t know what chapter and verse it is. I’m not very good at remembering where to find Bible passages, so I Googled this one. You’ll be surprised that there are more Bible verses in your memory than you are aware of. After you finish your time of Christian Reverie, you can later sit down and find out where it is in the Bible and read the context and exact wording.
6. Take your virtual Christian Reverie walk on the beach.
It’s time to scroll through the photos and as you do, pause as long as you like on each one. Imagine yourself there, notice details and connect it with experiences you have had walking by the water and with God, our Creator.
7. Plan a time for your own personal Reverie Meditation time in nature where you can use these techniques.
Few of us live by the beach, but there are places near all of us where we can be outdoors and immerse ourselves in the beauty of creation. I live in a suburban subdivision and I get up before dawn and walk through the neighborhood. I go down to the edge of a small pond at sunrise and enjoy the beauty of the light on the water. If you live in an urban area, sunsets and sunrises over city vistas are amazing. Skies are always wonderful, whether starlit or sun filled. Also, don’t overlook immersing yourself in small worlds of wonders, such as in a small flower or vegetable garden where you spend time noticing the details of each plant. Trees are also a great subject of reverie, especially if you stand under them and look up through their branches toward the sky.
copyright Karen Barber 2014. All rights reserved.