Meditation leads to damnation
Every year, at the theological college I attended, the students went on mission. This particular year we went to a country town called Nowra, South of Sydney, Australia. As was the usual practice, we found ourselves billeted out at different homes in the Parish. That particular year I was on the youth evangelism team. We ran a number of after school clubs, teenage coffee shops, Bible studies, conferences etc. I was actually a member of the music group. As long as I played my guitar and didn't sing to loudly, I got away with it.
For most of the time, two of us were billeted at a caravan park. Mum (Mom for my American friends!) and the kids were members of the local church, but dad was still on the edge. Interestingly, mum had become a believer through her daughter. From a young age the daughter had asked questions about God. In the end, mum took her daughter to church to see whether she could find some of the answers. She found the greatest answer of all, she found Jesus. As for her daughter, she was one of those rare species who seem to have always loved Jesus; Strange indeed!
Anyway, dad was finding all this a little bit threatening. What a contrast he was. Dad was into Eastern meditation. He had his own guru, read and meditated on Eastern literature and practiced yoga daily. He had a little room where he meditated. In the room was his holy books and a picture of his guru. As he told us about his Eastern beliefs, you could see his whole person overcome by fear. He actually went white before our very eyes. Something very strange had happened to him.
The fearful event had occurred one evening when mum and daughter were off at a Bible Study. Dad was in his room meditating and he heard this booming voice. "Meditation leads to damnation". These were the exact words. I can remember them even to this day, because I had never seen anyone so afraid before. "Meditation leads to damnation." Who spoke those words? He had no answers. He had searched the house, top to bottom, and scoured the gardens. At first, he thought his wife was playing a trick on him and planted a recorded message, but no trick had been played. This was no natural voice. As you could guess, he had stopped meditating. There he sat open to the Good News about Jesus.
Jesus comes to us in many ways. He came as a child. He appeared as a whirlwind of fire for Sodom and Gomorrah. He came as a brilliant light for Paul the apostle. And yes, he appeared as a voice to my friend at Nowra, and let us not forget, one day he will come in reaping justice. Are we ready?