The Lord has kept me faithful to walk every weekday morning ever since March. I’ve enjoyed the benefits of looser clothing, more energy, and reduced weight. I’ve learned that regaining my health and fitness is a process, and sometimes it’s tedious and boring work.
But not when I can ponder as I walk.
Before today, I thought of myself as someone with an overactive mind. Now I realize I’m just a born ponder-er. From Dictionary.Com, “ponder” means “to consider something deeply and thoroughly; to meditate (upon)”. It’s amazing the things I’ve pondered as I walk the streets of my neighborhood in the pre-dawn hours. Sometimes the Lord speaks to me and I ponder what He says. Sometimes I hear a song and ponder the meaning of the words. Sometimes I ponder about yesterday’s events or today’s plans. Often I ponder the random thoughts that enter my mind.
Today, the subject was my neighbor as I watched him manually close his garage door. Immediately my pondering mind went to work.
Wow, that’s unusual. Maybe he lost a child because an automatic door malfunctioned, and has resolved to never have an automatic door again. Oh, that must have been so traumatic! Or, maybe his door is just broken and he hasn’t had time to get it fixed. Hmmm, maybe he just likes his manual door. But how could he – it’s so inconvenient to have to stop and open it every time you go in or out. Noone has manual garage doors these days. How odd. I wonder...
A puzzle to be solved, for sure, and I was just the one to “ponder” it out.
Except for one small thing: I had zero facts.
All the pondering in the world will not tell me the truth about why this family does not have an automatic garage door. If I want the truth, I need to go to the source and simply ask. May not be as much fun, but the end result is 100% more reliable.
Quickly pondering without the facts can be destructive. I’ve jumped to conclusions, made judgments, and inserted my own ideas based on my own experiences, which has led me away from the truth. Sometimes I’ve shared my ponderings with others as facts, then they ponder and add their own spin, and share, and so on, until only a shred of truth remains under a pile of pondering-created lies.
In contrast, taking time to ponder with or on the facts brings us into a deeper revelation of truth. When I ponder on God’s word, I discover new things about Him and His ways. When I ponder on something a friend shares with me, I learn more about who they are. When I ponder on a work or family situation, I find better solutions because I have time to see things from all perspectives.
Today, pondering about my neighbor’s garage door led to nothing but the possibility for a good fiction book. Thankfully I was also listening to a great song, and pondering about the lyrics shut that other door.
I’m learning how to ponder productively and not destructively. I’m learning how to enjoy my pondering and not feel guilty about it. Hmmmm, maybe I could channel some of my pondering and become a fiction writer.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Ask God to lead you to a Scripture verse, and take a few moments to ponder on it.