Pastor’s ponderings

I have been writing these ponderings for several years now, and I pray that in my analysis of a variety of situations, it has given you something to think about.  Yet, for some reason, this week, I found myself pondering on what it really means to be pondering something.  I looked it up in the Google dictionary and found that pondering means “think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.”  Now from a worldly perspective, this probably makes sense – when we ponder, we mull it over in our mind trying to make some determination about what something means to us.  Yet is that all it really is – to process, analyze, or use our “gray matter” to draw some conclusion?

            I looked up the word “ponder” in the Bible and found that it is used only one time.  One time!  When the shepherds came to find Jesus, Mary, and Joseph after Jesus’s birth, they told the story of the angels’ visit to them, and Luke’s Gospel says that in response, “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19, NRSVUE).  Pay attention to that verse, for Mary didn’t think over what they had to say, but “pondered them in her heart.”  In her heart, not her brain.  She didn’t attempt to analyze all that the shepherds had to say, she instead processed them in her innermost being, in her spirit.  The one and only time pondering is used in Scripture, it testifies to the fact that our ponderings should be deep, internal, spiritual experiences.

            My life verse also comes from Luke.  There, when Jesus prepares the disciples for ministry, he tells them, “When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you will answer or what you are to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:11-12, NRSVUE).  He says don’t think about it, don’t try to overanalyze the situation, for when the time comes the Holy Spirit will provide what is needed.  The Holy Spirit which resides in your heart will ponder for you and reveal the truth which you can reveal to others.

            So, the real question for all of us is – how are we pondering?  With our minds or with our hearts?  I think you will find that even in the exact same situation, the utilization of these two methods will bring about very different conclusions.  Our brains tell us to do one thing, but our hearts another.  And if Jesus’s commandment to us is to love one another just as he loves us (John 13:34), then shouldn’t all that we do come from the heart and not some mental conclusion?

                                                            Always pondering,                                                             Pastor Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *