Someone asked a playwright where he got his ideas for writing. His answer was very simple: “I keep my antenna up.”
It makes me ponder the question, Do I have my antenna up? What am I picking up? What am I missing that is circulating above ground, in the air, all around me? What am I missing that would benefit my inner, spiritual life?
There are good things to be picked up, if we have our antenna set for the right signals. This is something we have to do. Unfortunately, a lot—we can probably say MOST—of the information circulating is worthless, or worse. So many useless facts, worthless details, that may be of interest but what will they do for us long term? Our criteria must be, What is spiritually motivating?
A business man told of his personal commitment to reading, and the importance of selecting carefully. One of his main criteria in choosing what to read impressed me. It was:
What will this information be worth to me one year from now? Three years from now?
He was choosing to read in relation to his goals. Isn’t that what we need to do also? What we put in our minds will either help or hinder us. That is why Paul said,
Philippians 3:13–14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
This “One Thing”—but that meant being selective. He didn’t take in everything around him. He wasn’t concerned about what was happening in the Roman world, or even in all of Jerusalem. “One thing” meant it had to relate to his goal, or it didn’t fit into his circle of interest.
That is our problem today. We need information, but we must be selective. Even the best of what is on the internet or on our cellphones could easily clutter our minds and consume our time to no spiritual profit. What did Paul warn about words with no profit?
2 Timothy 2:14: “Remind them [the brethren] of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.”
This is where we must choose. There are things that need our attention and study, as the next verse says:
2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”