Friday, September 05, 2008

pondering

"The best things in life comes to those who wait." I find some truth in that from Scripture, in Jesus. Mary, Jesus' mother, is said to have pondered what was said about her son, Jesus, at his birth, as well as storing in her heart what Jesus did and said as a twelve year old. In that is a good precedent for us all. And I have to wonder if Eve would have been taken in and deceived by that old serpent, the devil, if she would have pondered God's word to her.

I may understand some difficult sayings in Scripture and elsewhere from people of God, in some sort of superficial way. Words are important, conveying concepts, and we can't minimize them, because God gave them to us through humans, and directly- as the word of God. So we need to use our minds in seeking to understand.

But we also have to understand that though our minds are a vehicle, in its nature, God's work is revelation from God. We don't get there simply through a mind exercise, but in a relational sense. Scripture is God's living word not only when it was given through the human writers, but also to human readers and hearers, now.

Pondering involves meditation. And we're to meditate day and night on God's word. We keep doing so as those who are seeking to hear and understand better God's revealed will to us. And in that pondering, we're also to be endeavoring to seek the Lord. This pondering is relational at its core.

For me this pondering is important. I take one of my Bibles at work, and lay it out to a specific passage on which I'll meditate, or ponder. I do so often by memorizing, or working slowly through a passage. Due to the nature of my work, memorizing is good, or going over the same passage and lines over and over again, as I do my necessary work. Like Mary, there's a reward as we keep after it. I can remember my pondering being as dry as can be, but by the end of the day I understood something of the reality to which God in Jesus was calling me, through that Scripture. A light was shining in my heart for the pathway of my life in Jesus.

What thoughts might you like to add here?

8 comments:

-bill said...

Great thoughts here, Ted. I especially resonate with these words:

Scripture is God's living word not only when it was given through the human writers, but also to human readers and hearers, now.

Have a great weekend!

-bill

preacherman said...

Ted,
I think when we meditate. We ponder. We store up things in our heart that we ought. It pleases God and helps strengthen your relationship with Christ and faith over all.
Thanks for sharing this with us brother.
I hope you have a blessed weekend.

NaNcY said...

i am glad that you shared this way of pondering.

Every Square Inch said...

Ted - Meditation is a lost discipline for many Christians. It takes too long, you can't measure the results, etc... but God does wonderful things in our hearts when we do it

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Bill. And you too, brother.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your good words here, Kinney. I especially like your thought on how it's pleasing to God, though all you say here is important.

You, too! Thanks. (a nice kind of cool up here; hope it's not too hot down there)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy. Interesting new pic of you. You are creative. I like black and white. Don't know how to do that on my digital camera, but surely there's a way.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
That's why I like something of the order people like Bonhoeffer or Benedict wrote about and put into practice. Our evangelical way is too free wheeling. I like a balance between set (liturgy) and spontaneity. And like you say here, it needs to be ongoing. Yes- and God's working- just what we need.

Thanks.