Do you ever take time to ponder? What does it mean to ponder anyway? It’s not a word that we use often, is it?

To ponder means to think carefully about something, to contemplate, meditate on, or mull over. If you’re like me, you ponder while you’re driving or taking a shower. We seem to be so busy that we don’t make time to ponder. Some time ago, I read that the average American watches about 5 hours of television every day. The TV steals much of our potential ponder time. With the advent of social media, any pondering time we might have left over is taken by Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.

I think it’s important to ponder. I ponder things with God a lot. I guess pondering with the Lord could be considered a type of prayer. I’ve never heard a Bible teacher mention pondering as a prayer method. But I often reflect on things with the Lord. I review my day with Him. I think about my relationships. I consider my future. I plan upcoming events with Him. I mull over what’s going on in my life.

Basically, pondering means to stop and think. Do you take time to ponder over the many things you have to be thankful to God for? Do you stop to ponder the wonders of creation? How about pondering deep stuff like, “Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What will eternity be like? What is real love? Is there any nutritional value in a Pop-Tart?”

Okay, maybe you don’t ponder about Pop-Tarts much. But I do think it’s a good thing to ponder.

In the Christmas story, we read about the shepherds who were notified by an angel of the Lord that the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. They made their way to find Joseph, Mary, and the Christ child in a manger. They witnessed the miracle child and spread the word about the angelic visit and their time with the baby Jesus. Everyone who heard what the shepherds told them were amazed. At the end of this part of the story, we find these words,

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Mary had a lot of pondering to do! She pondered her own visit with an angel. She pondered her miracle pregnancy. She pondered the words that her baby would be the Son of God who would reign on the throne of David. She pondered what their future would be like together. Through it all, Mary concluded that she could trust God in the midst of the mysteries before her.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” she said. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).

I’d like to challenge you to take time to ponder. Ponder your past with gratefulness. Ponder your future with hope. And as you ponder your future, I hope you’ll resolve to say the same thing that Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”