It took me four hours to get my new phone.
I’ll spare you the gory details. Suffice to say, since I haven’t looked at new phones for about five years, there was a lot to learn. I also learned that the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is a big pain in the tuchus (for those that lack knowledge of Yiddish, the butt).
What made it even more torturous was one of the guys at the kiosk began talking about computer games, movies, and a plethora of knowledge about popular culture. You know, stuff along the lines of movie director Christopher Nolan and how …
“thanks to his stylized, time-bending renovation of film noir conventions, he established himself as a creator of psychologically demanding films that defied classification. Though he made his feature debut with the ultra-low budget indie, "Following" (1998), Nolan put himself on the map with "Memento" (2000), a classic revenge story with the unique twist of being told backwards. Hailed by many critics and - by indie standards - made successful by a rabid audience, "Memento" quickly turned Nolan's fortunes, establishing him as a highly sought-after talent. He soon followed with the thriller "Insomnia" (2002), starring heavy-hitters Al Pacino, Hilary Swank and Robin Williams. But it was the blockbuster "Batman Begins" (2005) - a reimagined take on a long-defunct film franchise - that propelled Nolan to the upper tier of Hollywood directors. His dark, brooding take on the avenging crusader was much more aligned with its original intention than any other subsequent incarnation had been, earning critical praise, audience admiration and a large chunk of box office dollars. With "The Prestige" (2006), "The Dark Knight" (2008) and "Inception" (2010), his reputation as an auteur working in a blockbuster world was firmly cemented. Later works "Interstellar" (2014) and "Dunkirk" (2017) showed that his mastery of form extended to philosophical science fiction and gripping war drama as well.” Read more
And that’s when my eyes glazed over.
You know the look – the empty, zombified stare most often seen when I’m explaining the title of my doctoral dissertation, An Exploration into God’s Subdue and Rule Mandate for Humanity in Genesis 1:28: Its Origin, Corruption, Repercussions, And Eschatological Restoration in the New Covenant.”
YES! That stare right there!
Fine. Let’s try some knowledge in fun-size pieces.
Remember Cliff Clavin from Cheers? His line “It’s a little-known fact, Normy” always anticipated either a ridiculously weird, but true, fact or something just ridiculous.
You know, like, “It’s a little-known fact that cows were domesticated in Mesopotamia and were also used in China as guard animals for the forbidden city.” Or “I wonder if you know that the harp is a predecessor of the modern-day guitar. Early minstrels were much larger people. In fact, they had hands the size of small dogs.” And the stellar Clavinism, “Due to the shape of the American Elk’s esophagus, even if it could speak, it could not pronounce the word lasagna.”
I did not know that.
The world is filled with interesting things to know!
There’s this little-known fact I recently found on the internet (so it must be true). “People stash their phones in their back pockets all the time, which is why Samsung created a robot that is shaped like a butt—and yes, even wears jeans—to ‘sit’ on their phones to make sure they can take the pressure.” Yes, that’s actually true. Read more
So I hear you ask, “Really? How does that enrich my life?”
To be honest, probably not much. But knowledge does enrich us in many ways. We need knowledge to live. We need to know the signs of hunger, how to care for our bodies, and how to interact well with other people.
We need knowledge to stay alive. We need to know the signs of sickness such as “Is this just indigestion or am I having a heart attack?” or if the furnace is functioning properly or why we husbands should never say, “You’re so cute when you’re mad” to our wives.
Knowledge can be extremely valuable. Knowledge is the basis of wisdom for wisdom is knowledge applied. Wisdom is knowledge forged in the fires of experience.
But some types of knowledge are far and above more valuable than others.
Compare knowing the above Christopher Nolan’s movie credentials to whether a gun is loaded or not. One means little, the other means much. Can you guess which is which?
Of course, you can! You’re a person with knowledge crafted into wisdom.
There’s much to know about life on planet earth. Sadly, some of it is fascinating but worthless in the big picture. I’m talking about the big picture of our entire lives – both present and future.
We need more than knowledge about life, we need knowledge that leads us to life. Present knowledge is for present life. Eternal knowledge is for eternal life.
The rabbis of Judaism have some great principles of biblical interpretation. One is “light and heavy.” The argument is from a minor premise to a major one. In other words, if something applies to the lesser, how much more to the greater?
Our consummate rabbi, Jesus, used this principle in His teaching. “If you then, who are evil (note: compared to God), know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11).
So let me frame our topic. If knowledge about life in the present is important, how much more is knowledge leading to our future, eternal life?
So, in the interest of weightier matters of eternal knowledge, I would like to present some things (not all) we should know in this life that impacts our eternal lives. Where do we get said knowledge? From the Bible, the revelation of all we need to know about God (for now). After all, as the internet memes declare, the B.I.B.L.E. is the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.
First, God exists. “In the beginning, God…” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible starts off with a bang. No, not the Big Bang, but the biggest bang – there is a God.
Second, Who He is. God is not just a god, but the God. The only God (Isaiah 44:6). The God who existed before anything else did (Revelation 4:11). And as the Creator of the spiritual and physical worlds, He’s in complete charge (1 Timothy 6:15).
Third, He loves you. Who doesn’t want to know this? Imagine your ideal dad, a dad who loves you deeply. He would be your unwavering companion, your closest confidant, and your staunchest protector. He would be your reliable provider, your warmest comforter, your wisest teacher, and everything you could hope for in a dad. If a human dad could be that to you, how much more God who is all that to you?
Fourth, all of us begin life separated from Him. When mankind started, Adam and Eve lived in God’s kingdom on earth, Eden (Genesis 2:8, 15). When they broke the King’s law and refused His kingship, they were tossed from God’s kingdom and His presence (Genesis 3:23). But the King has been after us ever since to bring us home, back into His kingdom and His loving embrace. To do that, our Heavenly Father, our Creator and King, had to remove the barrier that separates us from Him.
Fifth, He has done everything to remove that barrier for you through His Son and our brother, Jesus (Romans 5:8), and invites you to cross to His side. There is a way home because our Heavenly Father loves us.
Of these few pieces of knowledge, this fifth one is the most important and the one piece of knowledge with the greatest eternal value. Applying this knowledge is true wisdom for it affects both this life and our eternal life to come.
There is so much more for you to know about life, both now and eternal, but I’ll leave that up for your own study for now. You can find that wealth of knowledge woven throughout the Bible. It may be a bit difficult to grasp at times but ask the Lord to help you “get it” and He will. Trust me. I speak from experience.
And it will be a whole lot more valuable to you in the long run than knowing Samsung has a butt-shaped robot to test their phones or this Cliff Clavin little-known fact gem,
“You take your average whale’s intestines and stretch them out…you’re looking at three miles and change.”
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts