Luke twice records that Mary pondered extraordinary events in her heart. Instead of seeking the advice of other mothers, she went off by herself and sat quietly with her own thoughts, sorting the fragments like broken potsherds. How did all the pieces fit together? Alone, without distractions, Mary compared each event that occurred with what the angels and Simeon and Anna had earlier revealed to her.
Did this example of Mary prompt Jesus, once his ministry was in full swing, to seek time apart? After his baptism, Jesus immediately headed out into the wilderness for an extended time of solitude and prayer. In Mark 1:35 and Luke 5:16 we learn that he made it a habit to seek out lonely spots where he could rest and pray. Before choosing his twelve disciples, Jesus spent an entire night pondering quietly and seeking God’s wisdom. On the night before his death, he left his disciples and prayed for hours alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. A pattern that characterized his mother’s life became his own.
As a child, I watched my father rise each morning and spend time in prayer. It wasn’t easy for him to find a quiet place in a house with four small children, but he did it. And now, because he established a pattern, I do it too.
What good habits are you passing along to those who follow in your steps? Does one of those habits involve setting aside time each day to ponder God’s greatness? It is never too late to begin to form new habits.