Do you know where the word ruminate comes from? Based on the title of this little blurb, you might guess it. It means “to chew again something that has already been chewed slightly and swallowed.” When a cow is chewing her cud, she is ruminating on the grass she ate an hour ago. Gross, right? Sorry about that. Still, rumination is something God tells us to do.
Often, in the counseling field, rumination indicates a negative behavior: people who ruminate on negative expectations tend to be depressed, for example. However, ruminating, if done properly, is something that causes us to become the people God desires us to be. In Philippians 4.8, we are instructed to “think upon these things.” With this instruction, we are being told to consider deeply those things that are noble, righteous, lovely and pure. That is, “chew on this a little bit, then come back to it and chew on it some more. And while you’re at it, chew on it a little more.” When we ruminate on God’s word, and on the things that are glorifying to God, we are considering deeply the things that God wants us to think about.
I would offer a challenge to you this week: pick a single verse to ruminate on this week. (If you need some help, Philippians 4.8 is a great one!!) Pick it out, read it aloud, repeat it silently a few times and think about its implications. Pray that the Lord will use it to teach you something this week. The next day, read the entire chapter around that verse, then chew on the verse a little more, with new insights and perspective. The next day, read the entire book that the verse comes from, chewing on how that verse fits into the book and thinking about what that means. For the rest of the week, chew on that verse each day, seeking God’s wisdom and insight about it. I promise that you will find that ruminating on God’s words will never be a waste of time. Invest some of your precious time in pursuit of God – your efforts will not go unrewarded.