Too Much Information

This past week I rode out my first earthquake (5.9) and my first real hurricane. Irene and I are pretty much friends, since she left. Kindly, she didn’t take my electricity or internet or trees or lawn furniture. If you like, you can check out a poem I wrote for her here.  But, she also left me something to ponder:

I often (OK, always) listen to either news radio, Christian music, Janet Parshall,  or a podcast sermon. But, as Irene approached, I upped the ante on news. Incessantly, obsessively, I listened to weather updates and hurricane warnings. I almost felt like I was in greater control if I knew what to expect. It was as if I could keep my lights on or will Irene back to sea if I just knew what to expect. I think I might have cursed the meteorologist if she had been wrong. How dare she lie to me!

I know, really I do, that I had no control whatsoever over Irene’s behavior. For that matter, neither did the weather-woman. Suddenly, it dawned on me (albeit slowly) that Irene was going to do what Irene was going to do whether I knew about it or not! Hurricanes have been attacking coastlines for millennium – long before radios and television broadcasted warnings. And the earthquake! it shook my house and the Washington Monument with no forethought. The only forethought given was God’s.

It seems funny to me, as we think we grow smarter and smarter, that ultimately we are no more powerful. Is God chuckling? In fact, perhaps we were better off before we knew enough to frighten us of everything.

– now that we have defined calories – we worry about eating too many

– now that we measure our education by degrees – we worry that we aren’t smart enough

– now that we have games and computers we spend hours lost in ourselves and outside of relationship

– now that we have so much information, we have too much to do and no time for families

Do you see what I’m saying?

Recently, I read a study that determined that the average adult spends more than 8 hours a day in front of some screen – receiving information. And yet, we know that we are scarcely using the vast capacity of our minds. Made in the image of God – should we re-evaluate what type of information we are consuming?