Right now you’re likely inundated with ideas for how to make your new year healthier, more relaxing, more successful, more social…the lists really go on and on. When I sat down to do my own goal setting for the New Year, one rather unusual resolution kept coming up in my thoughts and prayers:
Ponder things in your heart.
I know this seems a little poetic and abstract, but I actually think there is immense concrete value in this resolution. In Luke 2:19, after a whirlwind of incredible experiences, including being visited by an angel, carrying God’s baby in her womb, traveling to Bethlehem while very pregnant, and giving birth to the Savior of the world, we are told that “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
In today’s culture, we’re often tempted to share all the things going on in our lives, sometimes even the raw emotions we may feel in a spontaneous moment of frustration or immense joy, instead of “keeping” all these things. Instead of pondering in our hearts and taking time to reflect, we post online, be it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or our social media companion of choice.
This coming year, join me in this challenge to ponder…
First by creating space and time for reflecting. We can do this by crossing an item off our overflowing to-do lists every day or by waking up a little earlier to do our pondering before the day’s obligations come rushing at us. The goal is to focus a little less on what you need to do in an effort to make more time for pondering about who you are and who God wants you to become. The Blessed Mother’s pondering was transformative—a life spent pondering contributed to her becoming the handmaid of the Lord, and ultimately, the Queen of Heaven.
Second, if you easily fall into technology and social media overuse, resist the urge at least once a day to share a moment or thought with the world and instead ponder that circumstance or emotion—whether it be a joyful, angry, sad, annoyed, or proud one –instead in your heart, mulling it over only with God.
So to summarize: keep more than you share, ponder more than you post.
Then, maybe by the end of next year, you’ll be a little more like Our Lady, having deepened your relationship with God by more frequently sharing things just between the two of you, like a close father and child, like intimate friends.