• Penn Clark

Walk, Stand, Sit

These Three Degrees of Watching and Meditation Determine Our Behavior


Taken from my book "Following the Eyes of Your Heart"


What we meditate upon often determines the degree of success we experience in life. This is borne out in Psalm 1:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


Notice how David talks about walking, standing, and sitting. I see these as degrees of meditation:

- Walkingindicates something getting our attention or at least a passing notice. This is like reading the headlines in a newspaper at a glance.


- Standing indicates how a headline has stopped us in our tracks. Now, we are thinking about it. Then, we decide to actually open the inside pages to learn more about what caught our attention on the outside. Standing involves thinking more deeply or more intentionally.


- Sitting describes what happens when we put ourselves in a position to really take something in. We make some coffee, pull up a chair, and sit down to read it. When we do this, we have now become absorbed.


Years ago, merchants would often stack their televisions sets in the front windows of their stores. People walking by would glance up at a television to see what was on. If they were interested in what caught their eye, they might stand in front of store for a while. I have seen photos of crowds of people in all three postures, with some people even sitting on the cars parked out in front of stores and watching whatever was on television. The store was successful in getting people’s attention, which might result in some sales.


While we no longer sit out in front of stores, companies still use attention-getting means to lure us into buying their goods. It can also be applied to how we watch YouTube, or it can be applied to how we might notice what someone wears. You may not be able to help but notice something, but you don’t have to become absorbed in it. This three-step process can be applied to either positive or negative things. For example, it could apply to a verse in the Bible that caught your eye, but you kept on reading. Then, as you thought about it, you decided to go back and look at the verse more intentionally.


One thing I have done through the years that has resulted in my writing books and having an abundance of sermon material is I have cultivated the discipline of stopping when a certain truth gets my attention, causing me to think about it more deeply and then write it out. I figure, if the Holy Spirit has allowed me to see it, He must want me to steward it in a way that others can benefit from it. This has also led me to limit how much television I watch.


To me, there is not much on that is worth giving my time and attention to. I cannot stand sit-coms. I have no patience for the kind of humor they dispense. While I do watch some news, I rarely take the time to listen to what the commentators on news programs have to say. In fact, if I had to watch a continuous news cycle on television, it would be like a jail sentence to me. Very few movies and television dramas capture my interest. This leaves me watching Animal Planet and a few cooking shows. For me, what I see with the eyes of my heart is always far more valuable than what is on television.



If you want to change the direction of what you meditate upon, you have to change what you delight in. What we give our attention to is what we delight in. If you go back and read Psalm 1 again, you will find that the entire goal of the psalm is to try to get people to see the benefits of changing what they give thought to.


Taken from my book "Following the Eyes of Your Heart"

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