Sun, 22 July 2018
Buckminster Fuller studied the accumulation of information. He created what is known as the “Knowledge Doubling Curve.” He noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, on average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months! According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.
We may be getting smarter, but are we getting wiser?
A young, university graduate crossed a large, dangerous river on a barge. An elderly, seasoned fellow was steering the barge. As they made the crossing, the odd couple struck up a conversation. The university student asked the old man three questions.
The first one was: “Do you know anything about physics?” “Nope”, replied the old man. “Then a third of your life has been wasted!” decried the young student. His second question was: “Do you know anything about philosophy?” “Nope”, answered the old man with no note of angst. “Then another third of your life has been wasted!” protested the collegiate. Finally, he asked: “Do you know anything about the social sciences?” “Nope”, dryly replied the old man. “Then another third of your life has been wasted!”
Suddenly, the barge hit a large object, took on water rapidly, and overturned. Both men were thrown into the water. The old man cried out to the young student, “Do you know anything about swimming?” The young man replied “Nope.” “Then your whole life is wasted!” replied the old man.
The young man thought the accumulation of knowledge about certain subjects was essential to life. The old barge pilot knew that none of that mattered in the world of piloting a barge if you can’t swim. What was essential in his life was knowing how to swim.
What knowledge is essential? What is it that we should know in a world where knowledge is doubling virtually every year? We may have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the things of life, but, without a proper knowledge of who God is, all of life (and eternity) can be wasted.
This morning we will learn “How to Stay Ahead of the Knowledge Curve.” Psalm 139 celebrates the attributes of God and how they impact our lives. David is the inspired author and he is amazed by the nature of God. There may be no other place in Scripture where the magnitude and immensity of God are more explicitly revealed.
Songs of the Summer
“How to Stay Ahead of the Knowledge Curve”
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! (139:1)
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (139:7)
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb (139:13).
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (139:23-24)