What did we do before Google and YouTube? Most of us have a hard time remembering. The internet has become our go-to source of quick information and help. It seems that there is a how-to video out there for just about any project you might undertake.
This is especially true for young people. I’ve been reading a well-researched book called Faith for Exiles that makes the point that, for young people, their devices are the primary place they go to make sense of the world around them. These curious and developing young men and women have instant access to information on any question they have on any imaginable topic, and a whole world of foolishness with it. They have no lack of information. But, as authors Kinnaman and Matlock put it: “Instantaneous access to information does not equal wisdom.”
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7 NIV).
Wisdom is about understanding what life is about and having the practical skills to live it well. And wisdom is anything but instant and easy. It comes through decisive and prayerful seeking, through study of the past and serious thinking about the future, through hardship and experience, through obedience and submission, and through relationships with the wise people God gives to raise, teach, and guide. Siri and Alexa are not such guides.
We are increasingly conditioned to be “dazzled and distracted” by what we can have or access in this instant, this moment. But if our concern is to meet every moment with the understanding and skill to live it well, then we need to do the “uphill” work of getting wisdom. Swap your screen-time for quality-time with God and his people; carve out time to think about God’s word and life’s big questions; and, when the weather’s nice, go for a walk—and marvel.