We live in an information age. Facts and figures about any topic under the sun are literally at our fingertips. How long will the monarch caterpillar remain in its chrysalis before emerging as a butterfly? Type the question into Google, and instantly we receive over 500,000 results from all across the internet. Or we can simply ask Alexa or Siri or Google, and receive a definitive, single answer to our question without having to sift through the information ourselves.
Information is readily available to us. We have come to rely on, expect, and even demand instantaneous answers to our questions becoming frustrated when information is delayed or harder to find than one click. “But I really need to know about the monarch chrysalis in my backyard now,” we think as we pick up our phones to find the answer.
But how does our need for constant information and immediate answers impact our relationship with God?
Let’s consider the words of Proverbs 9:10-
“Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.” (NLT)
Knowledge here is not facts and figures or sheer information. Rather this knowledge is an experiential, deep, relational knowing- the kind of knowing that only comes over time. I could spend a few minutes looking up and reading information on the internet about Monarch butterflies, but no amount of information replaces simply observing the caterpillar eating our milkweed, forming a chrysalis on our bird of paradise, and finally emerging as a beautiful Monarch butterfly right outside the widows of my sunroom. But this process has taken weeks not seconds.
The same is true with God. Often we come to Scripture looking for information or we pray expecting immediate answers or instant change. And we become frustrated when we fail to learn anything new or answers elude us. But knowing God is not about information gathering or finding answers, and it is most certainly not instantaneous. Knowing God grows through years of following him, observing and experiencing his work in our lives, sitting in his presence, listening to his voice, and attuning our hearts to his frequency. Knowing God is experiential, and it grows out of a relationship.
In this age of constant information and fast-paced, frenzied action this is quite a countercultural idea. But may we all take time today to put down our phones, turn off the news, and spend time in God’s presence.