I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you've done it. I relish everything you've told me of life, I won't forget a word of it.
(Psalm 119:15-16 The Message)
Are you a "ponder-er"? If you are one who turns things over and over until you get a better understanding of the object you are considering, then you are a "ponder-er". To ponder means that you consider something deeply and thoroughly. It involves the mind, but it also relies on the involvement of the emotions in the process. It comes from a Latin word that means to "weigh". Some of us might say that we are "reflecting" on an idea - we are simply pondering that idea (weighing the pros and cons).
David tells us that he has become a "ponder-er" of God's wisdom - that which comes from his Word. He has learned to "put to the test" the ideas he has running through his mind, those things that are affecting his emotions, by "weighing" them against God's Word. There is no better "scale" to measure our ideas against!
Part of pondering is the idea of directing our attention toward whatever it is we are considering. There is focus - not just haphazard consideration - but determined attention toward the object of our reflection. David has the most important thing to him is the "using" of the counsel God gives to make decisions about his life. It is more important to him to "use" what God gives than to have all the riches in the world.
I wonder if that is the respect we have for the counsel of God. Is it a standard by which we "ponder" on life's decisions? To David, the Word had become the standard by which he made decisions. It is the process of "pondering" that actually brings us to a place where we "learn" the Word. This allows us to have the Word available when we need it - not forgetting it.
David is very clear - God's Word is not taken into our minds in huge quantities. It is pondered by the "morsels". A morsel is a small bit - some call it a tidbit. It is like a bite-sized candy bar - just enough to give you a taste, but not enough to send you into a diabetic coma! God's Word is "bite-sized". We take it in one morsel at a time - pondering the morsel until we find deep satisfaction in it. That is how it begins to be something we come to relish.
When we relish something, we have developed a "taste" for it. Many don't have a well-developed "taste" for God's Word. Perhaps this is because when it is mixed with so many other things we "take in" right along with it, we don't get a full appreciation of the "taste"! I like coffee. My daughter likes creamer. I like a little creamer in my coffee. My daughter likes a little coffee in her creamer. We have each developed a different "taste" for coffee. Does the coffee change? No, just our appreciation for the taste of that which is produced by either the focus on the coffee or the creamer!
We need to develop our ability to ponder. Pondering is not easy because we have so many distractions. We also need to develop our habits of "intake". We often consume in quantities that are not easily digested - God desires that we take his Word in bite-sized morsels. In the morsels, we develop a "taste" for his Word - an appreciation of the hidden truths deep within.
So, ponder with me today. Enjoy the morsels God gives. Develop a taste for the good things God reveals in his Word. Great delight is found not in the consuming of the Word, but in the pondering of its taste!