Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My head is full of meaningless information.

My head is full of meaningless information. I know song lyrics and names, and I can identify musicians by the sound of their voices. I remember the titles of movies I saw more than ten years ago, and what celebrities starred in them. I have memorized hundreds of lines of dialog from my favorite tv shows. (I couldn’t sleep at all last night! Angie kept my Sharper Image White Noise Aromatherapy machine. She knows I can’t sleep without the sound of the ocean and the smell of bacon!) l can recall book plots, authors, and character names. I know that Greg Grunberg has had parts in almost everything JJ Abrams has produced. I know the names of all nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring. (Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Gimli, Legolas, Sam, Merry, Pippin) I remember celebrity gossip and the weird things they name their children. Why do I waste my brain power on such pointless drivel? And why do I so easily remember all things entertainment related, but struggle so hard to memorize things of lasting, eternal significance?

Last week in my Bible study, we read again about the futility of idols and idol-worship. In Isaiah’s time, people actually had carved statues that they worshipped. But today’s idols are typically not physical objects, they are concepts and institutions. Although Hollywood celebrity isn’t something that I would say I struggle with idolizing, it’s amazing how easily I retain information about stuff I don’t really care about! This is what Isaiah has to say about the people’s idols:

The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity. Isaiah 46:1-2

Their idols weigh them down, and make it hard to move. In contrast, this is how God describes his relationship to his people:

I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

Now I’m not trying to say that memorizing meaningless facts about the entertainment industry is a bad thing. I will probably always love movies, music, magazines, and tv. But it makes me wonder why it is so easy for me to subconsciously absorb that information, and so hard to retain the truth of God! I suspect it would do great things for my peace and trust in God if I had more consistent intake of scripture. I am terrible at memorizing Bible verses. But obviously I have the mental capacity to memorize; I’m just not using it on the right things! I also sometimes find it hard to read the Bible, because I already know what it says. I know the stories, and the principles, and the who’s who. But as my pastor mentioned this morning, when we pray that God will give us fresh eyes to see his Word, he does! Different things stick out to us at different times in our lives. Scripture is alive with the power of the Holy Spirit!

Anyone want to join me on my pursuit to fill my head with truth instead of crap???

1 comment:

J. M. Richards said...

I have wondered this about myself many times.

Personally, I think it partly has to do with the way we approach scripture. When I read it like a textbook, I have the same feelings toward it as I did my textbooks--some things were interesting, some were boring, and most of it felt like stuff I was supposed to remember for the test, but not necessarily applicable to everyday life.

In contrast, when I read it as a story, a really good true story, I am drawn into it. I mean, we love stories--not just for entertainment's sake, but because we learn and understand better through a good story than a great lecture. We want characters we can identify with, who struggle with the same kinds of things we do.

Why do you and I remember quotes and who was in what movie? I don't know. Out brains were wired that way, I guess. But I find that if I go with it instead of trying to fix it, I can make it work in lots of areas of life, including the bible. Do I know the scripture reference perfectly for all my favorite verses? No. (But let's be honest--there's always the bible app on my phone.) But I can tell you about the stories, about the great characters. And I'm open to learning more about them.

And think of it this way--there may yet be a way to use that other information--favorite lines from 30 Rock and song lyrics, etc. I'm sure you've already had opportunities to use it in your ministries. Just today, my pastor used a Cheez-It commercial as an illustration about maturity, and hey, it caught my attention. It's the way He made never know how He is going to use it!!