An unexploded World War II bomb was discovered beneath a gas station in Thessaloniki, Greece. It was defused Sunday, allowing 70,000 people to return home. I’ve been to Thessaloniki many times and wonder if our group was ever close to this potential disaster. I’m also glad someone still knows how to defuse a World War II bomb.
Some knowledge remains indispensable for generations. Other information, not so much.
Shortly after Janet and I married in 1980, we moved to the DFW area so I could begin seminary. I got a job as a typesetter and graphic artist. I was actually good at operating typesetting equipment. But that skill and a dollar bill will buy you a cup of coffee today, as they say. The machines and skills we used thirty-five years ago are now totally obsolete.
How do you know what knowledge matters and what doesn’t? It’s a relevant question.
The amount of news, information, and entertainment available today is far greater than at any time in human history. In 2010, then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt noted that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003. The amount of content available to us has only continued to escalate since.
As a result, psychologists warn of “cognitive overload,” feeling overwhelmed by all we can know. What should we do?
One psychologist advises us to schedule breaks from the computer, set limits to the amount of time we will be online or otherwise consuming content, and keep our virtual and physical spaces clutter-free. Especially important: consume content consciously. In other words, know what you need to know and “be ruthless about sticking to your parameters.”
Therein lies my point.
To focus on what matters, focus first on Who matters. Submit your mind to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and ask him to guide your thoughts. Ask him to help you filter what you could know to discover what you need to know. Then view the information of the day through the prism of this question: What will help you serve Jesus?
Your Kingdom assignment relates to your public work, school, or other life responsibilities. It also relates to your personal walk with Jesus, time spent in his word and worship. Both are important to your Father. In every dimension of your life, the Spirit is ready to help you focus your mind on what matters most.
Consider the omniscience and omnipotence of the One who is ready to lead your thoughts today. Anne Graham Lotz recently noted:
“It can be mind boggling to contemplate the vastness of the universe, from the greatest star to the smallest particle. It is so vast that astronomers are now saying that it stretches beyond what we are capable of penetrating, even with sophisticated telescopes like the Hubble. And every bit of it was created by the Living Word of God, Who, even as He hung the stars in space, counted them and called them each by name!
“And Who keeps all this in perfect order? Who keeps Earth from getting sucked into some gigantic black hole, or planets from spinning out of control, or stars from falling from the sky? Who keeps people upright on earth while it turns on its axis? Who established the laws of nature? Who gives people the very breath they breathe?
“The answer is none other than the Living Logos of Almighty God Who was in the beginning with God, and Who was God, and Who is the same today. He is bigger than we think and greater than we think. Nothing is beyond His ability. If He can keep the universe in order, He can keep your life and mine in order, too. He knows what’s wrong in your life and how to fix it. Give Him the authority to put it right. Let Him take charge.”
The best way to use your mind is to submit to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Right now.