I have often wondered, in an age with more information at our fingertips than generations past could even have dreamed possible, why we all seem to be growing more and more ignorant.
Furthermore, it seems strange that with the ever-increasing abundance of time-saving technology that no one ever seems to have much time to spare.
Shouldn’t things be the other way around? What gives?
Reading through the Psalms the other day, an answer to these questions reached out and slapped me across the face:
“Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
The first thing to realize is that these disparities of eroding time and knowledge are not unrelated. The two are, in fact, closely intertwined.
The Psalm suggests that good use of time will lead to the blossoming of wisdom. It must follow that that too much time wasted will lay wisdom to waste, as well. One need not think too hard to come up with ideas on the squandering of time in the 21st century.
How much collective time does the populace spend on social media? How many hours do I spend, scrolling mindlessly through memes reposted to Facebook, or recipes on Pinterest? How many minutes swirl down the drain in the grips of my indecision over what to watch on Netflix? It’s scary, when you think about it.
There may be a place for social media and entertainment in our lives, of course. We all need to unwind every now and again. What I am beginning to see, though, is that we are elevating these things to a place far and away higher than they’re meant to occupy. Instead of unwinding, we’re the ones being wound tighter and tighter around the spools of frivolous distraction.
It is uncomfortable to admit my own guilt. I have, at intervals in the recent past, gone on fasts from Facebook and other time-killers. It’s amazing how much you don’t miss them. And yet somehow, in the end, they always manage to reel you back in.
It’s easy to say that we desire wisdom. Pursuing it actively, well… that’s not so simple, is it? It requires hard work, focus, discipline. I am not very good at those things. But the more I look around me, the more appealing wisdom appears in comparison with what I see.
I do not mean to indict others with this post. It isn’t exactly a stone-written commitment to strive for my own betterment, either. Resolutions like that don’t work. Not even when they’re made public.
I think what it really is might be a prayer. For the strength and courage to deny the easy in favor of the difficult. For the will to pursue what is good over what is worthless. And for Him who holds all time and knowledge in His hand to teach us to make the most of one, so that we may grow in the other. I ask for me, and for you, too.
Let this also be an open invitation for anyone and everyone to join me in the pondering, as well as the prayer.