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Reflection: Devotional #5

We live in a fast paced age in fast paced world. Time feels like a blur some days. Have you ever gotten to the end of day, looked back and wondered how in the world it was suddenly 9 pm? When we consider our spouses, our jobs, our kids, our kids’ activities and all the little things that creep up throughout our day, we are constantly on the move. It is nearly impossible not to get sucked into the fast paced nature of our age.

Even though life may have been a little slower, I imagine that as Mary became a mother, had more children and supported Jospeh in his work, that she too felt squeezed for time and thought more than once: “No matter what I do, this house will never be clean!” Yet, there is a beautiful thing that Mary does, a particular act that Luke highlights twice for us. It happens following the visit of the shepherds and again when Jesus is a twelve year old boy in the temple. In both cases, Luke tells us that Mary “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (2:19, 51).

Think about that. In the midst of two very different events in her life, Mary slowed down long enough to reflect upon what was happening, on what God was doing. Luke says that she “pondered,” a word that means to give careful thought to. Mary could have just sped right through these moments, moved on to the next thing and let an opportunity of being present in the moment be lost. But she didn’t. She took full advantage of what God’s work by dwelling on its significance and storing up up in her heart.

Considering how few stories we have of the early life of Jesus and how few accounts we have of Mary, the fact that Luke records this practice twice highly suggests it was something Mary did regularly. I would also argue this practice spiritually prepared her for the future. When the wine ran out a wedding party, Mary knows where to turn (John 2:1- 12). When the Romans hung her son on a cross to die, though almost everyone abandons Jesus, we find Mary near the cross and still open to receiving from Jesus (John 19:25-27). Mary’s slowing down and pondering God’s work helped prepare her to live faithfully before the Lord.

—Practice This—

During this season of Advent, make a commitment to reflect or ponder. Make note of something that happened to you. How is God using it in your life? Is it a blessing? An impetus for growth? What are you learning and how are you changing because of it? What happened today that God might be able to use for growth? Write it down and look back to see how God has used your experiences to help you grow.

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