Useless Information Devotional

by Robert Mullins

During these times of anxiety, uncertainty and with tons of information being thrown at us in ways that we have never experienced before, I think it’s important to be able to distinguish the useless information from the information that really matters.  To remind us what REALLY matters, I’d like to look at several scriptures later in this devotional.
But, before we read from scripture ………….I would like to share some more useless information with you just in case you didn’t have enough of it being thrown at you every day already.
Did you know:
  • A fully mature oak tree sheds about 700,000 leaves per year.
  • Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
  • For 99.97% of humans, it is impossible to lick your elbow.
  • Ecclesiophobia is the fear of church.
  • There are 178 seeds on the average Big Mac bun.
  • Mosquitos are attracted to the color blue twice as much as any other color.

Have you ever stopped to think about the amount of useless information that we see and hear every day?  All of the facts that I just mentioned, with maybe the exception of how not to make yourself a target for mosquitoes, are what I consider trivial and almost useless information.
Technology today is advancing so fast that it is almost hard for me to comprehend.  We are pressed to learn and understand and do things through our jobs, our investments, our daily finances and our relationships that seem to be so complex.  Even the complexities of human relationships take effort to understand.  I have read where my wife might be from Venus and I am from Mars (sorry for that reference if you have never heard of that book).

Why does everything have to be so complex?  It seems like we are challenged every day, each of us in different ways, to spend a lot of time and energy on things of this world just to stay somewhat relevant in our culture.

I oftentimes wish things were as simple as I thought they were when I was in Elementary School.  I understand more and more every day that sometimes ignorance really is bliss.  We could read all day and all night long about this virus that is sweeping the world.  After reading it all, I’m afraid that we could be more confused than before we read it.  As I grow older, I see that this world is a lot more complex than ever imagined.

How many of you have watched the TV show Jeopardy?  There’s not much that makes me feel any less smart than watching that show.  How do people store or even see the need to store that much useless information?  I don’t think it’s relevant to know who the King of Prussia was in 1740, but I saw one man get that question right the other night and it wasn’t even for $1,000.
Our minds are full of information, some is useless and some is necessary due to the society and time that we live in. We need to know about mutual funds and IRA’s and gigabytes and social distancing and how to Livestream our worship service.

I hope that I have been successful as I have begun my thoughts in this short devotional to get you to think about the time and the effort that we give every day to the things and to the thoughts of this world.  And for those of you who have never tried to lick your elbow, wash your elbow for at least 20 seconds (in case you can actually do it) and please wait until you finish reading this devotional to give it a try.

In all seriousness, these “things”……….. this “useless” information takes part of us as Christians and sometimes forces our time and our thoughts away from our responsibilities as Christians.  Call it the “rat race,” “keeping up with the Jones”, keeping up with society or whatever term fits in your life.

What I would like to do for just a short minute is to allow your mind and mine to back away from the complexities of this life and the historical challenges that we are going through and look at three passages of scripture that I think can help us make our lives more simple every day.  The principles in these scriptures are very basic, but carry more importance than anything that we could possibly learn or grasp in this life.

The concepts in these passages are so straight forward and simple that I don’t want to add my words, but just allow you to read them in their simplicity without explanation

Matthew 22:36-38
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.

Matthew 18:1-3
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

I challenge you as you go through your daily lives to take time to see that even though this world is complex and these times are complex…….. God’s plan is simple.  God’s commands and desire for our lives is as basic and simple as it has been from the beginning.   We are the ones who have allowed our lives to be dominated by this fast paced, high demand society and high anxiety times.

We all have our ways of getting away and relaxing.  Some play golf, some ride motorcycles.  I hunt and I fish to help me slow down and it truly helps me shed the worries of everyday life.
Let me suggest that when we feel like this world is in control, that we simply challenge ourselves to stop and reflect on the simplicity of God’s plan for us.  His desire for us has never changed and it never will change.  

God’s plan is simple to understand, but sometimes the demands of our lives make it difficult to follow.  We each have to individually decide what’s going to get our focus and our attention.  What am I going to give the most of my focus….the most of my effort….the most of my time?  The Bible easily prioritizes things for us.  

Mark 8:36
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole WORLD, and lose his own soul?
- Robert Mullins 

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