I was looking hard at the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, preparing to teach a Bible study. As I was reading closely that story we read usually at Christmas, the moment the angel came announcing the good news, I found something unexpected. Right there is Luke 1 was something I had missed during all those Christmas readings.

He said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.

Mary pondered.

I knew that she pondered later, sitting in the manger with a bunch of hurried, harried shepherds oohing and ahhing over her newborn. They had seen an angel, too, they had said. They had left everything to come, and then they were hurrying away to tell everyone. Mary, though, treasured and pondered all that was happening.

She let it all soak in.
But I didn’t realize that Mary had spent the last nine months pondering, from the moment God showed her His big plan for her life. Mary realized that news like this takes a while to understand. She couldn’t rush into what God had for her. She had to sit with it a while.

I was thinking of Mary when I came across these words over at A Place for the God-Hungry: “There is no substitute for taking the time to think.”

Blogger Jim Martin had read a quote by Margaret A. Miller, and he had stopped short on just one sentence, “Busyness impedes the business of truth.”

These words fell hard on me, too, especially in a week where I have had to hurry through my reading, my reflection, even my writing. I have gulped down sentences and paragraphs like I eat meals in the car or standing up in the kitchen. The quick thoughts and rushed quotes caused as much indigestion as the pizza rolls I ate three times last week.

“Quite often we are so busy and have so much going on that we make comments and take positions long before we have really thought them through,” Jim concluded.

And so I quickly opened up this post and started writing about it.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Go THERE and then come back HERE again!
Join me for regular jaunts around The High Calling network, randomly visiting fellow bloggers, soaking up their words and ideas, and then coming back here to write about them from my perspective. This is what The High Calling network is all about, after all.

Our site is about casting a vision that is clear enough and inspiring enough that our readers can run with it on their own sites. We then spend the majority of our editorial time listening to them on their sites and helping them shine as writers. We believe in the power of the laity so much that we are relying on them and their audiences to help spread the vision that has been given to us. – Marcus Goodyear, senior editor, thehighcalling.org (from “The Challenge, Strategy, and Execution of Combining Web Properties” by Dan King on churchcrunch.com)

Each Thursday, consider going “There and Back Again” yourself. It’s simple.
1.) Choose another High Calling Blogger to visit. It can be someone you have “met” before, or do what I do, and work your way through the “Member Posts” section of thehighcalling.com to meet someone new.
2.) Visit his blog, digesting the message until it becomes something that you can write about.
3.) Go back to your blog and write about it, being sure to link to the post that gave you the idea so that your readers can visit, too.
4.) Add the button above to your blog so your readers know you are participating in “There and Back Again.”
5.) Go back to the Network blog and leave a comment so your new friend can feel the link love!
6.) Complete the journey by returning here, to Wide Open Spaces, and enter your link so that we all can benefit from the new High Calling connection you have made.