“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”
When God says, “Ponder the path of thy feet,” He is saying that you need to think about which path of life you are going to take before you take it. To ponder means to contemplate, study, give thought to and consider what you are about to do. Once you do something, you can never take it back. Too many people flippantly do things only to regret them the next day or later in life. It is always better to be slow in making decisions because quick or flippant decisions often lead to heartache.
However, when we think or ponder about the path that we are to take, what are we to think about? Certainly, we need a guide to know how to ponder so that we can do it correctly. God gives us this guide in the verses preceding the verse above. Let me share with you five things to consider when pondering the path of life.
First, think about what you have been taught. Verse 11 says, “I have taught thee…” One reason many people don’t know what to do is because they don’t listen when someone is teaching. My friend, give attention to what you are being taught. God gives you instructions on which path to take, but you will miss those instructions if you let your mind wander while your parents, preacher and teachers are teaching you. Let the lessons of life you have learned from your parents, pastor and teachers help you as you consider which path to take. Don’t throw out the instructions they have taught you just because you think you know better than they. Their life experiences are often what they teach you.
Second, think about the examples your leaders have taught you with their life. Verse 11 continues to say, “I have led thee…” Instead of trying to carve a new path in life, you had better learn to follow the life examples of those who have gone before you. Trying to carve a new path that others have not walked only leads to destruction. You have many life examples that have led you, and you ought to think about their examples before you make decisions that will dictate your life circumstances for months and years to come.
Third, think about your actions. Verse 12 says, “When thou goest…” At some point in life, you must go and do what you have been taught. Life lessons are unread books on the shelf of your life if you don’t take those lessons and apply them to your life. Stop sitting and wasting the life lessons others have taught you and go make something of your life with those lessons.
Fourth, think about your experiences. Verse 12 continues to say, “…when thou runnest…” You have life experiences that can help you when you are pondering the path of life. You better think about what you have done in the past and what came out of those actions and decisions. Don’t think that you can continue to do the same thing again and get a different result. Don’t fall for the trap that you can change history. You can’t change history, but you certainly will make it by letting your life experiences guide you as you ponder future paths to take.
Fifth, think about your influences. Verse 23 says, “Keep thy heart…” Your influences affect your decisions. You had better protect your heart so that the influences of those in your life don’t influence you to do wrong. If you keep the right influences in your life, you will be influenced to do right.