"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Accumulating Knowledge is Not the Same as Living It

By Micky Wolf
Without a doubt, we have a multitude of technology devices at our fingertips these days.These various and sundry tools provide resources aplenty for gathering information and facts, storing, and transmitting them on an as needed basis.

Having access to all this information, data, and fact, is one thing, but what happens next? Do we gather, store, and retrieve for the primary purpose of increasing and expanding volume and quantity? To see how much we can assign and accumulate in the appropriately designated container?

What if the most important consideration centers on gathering, storing and retrieving process as intentional to putting it to good use? Living it out in our daily life?
Gathering and accumulating information and facts is a practice that goes back thousands of years.

For example:

Data painted on stone walls of caves.

Hieroglyphics carved or etched on wood or skins.

Intricate patterns of puffs of white smoke lifted to the heavens.

Given the evolving growth and development of peoples and cultures, in actuality, what really changes is the method and the means. In this era, and for many of us, electronic technology serves that purpose.

In many ways, you and I are human computers. We accumulate information and facts and store it in the hard drive called our brain. At the time it’s needed, we utilize the software our Creator has wired into our being—our reason, will, intellect, emotions, feelings, hands, feet—to put this information into action. To make it more than just words or symbols that identify a fact or byte of data.

However, it’s often not that simple or easy. How many times do we struggle with holding and guarding our knowledge? Making the choice to parse it out in precise, measured quantity in order to (we believe) maintain control or retain a (assumed) position of superiority? Share bits and pieces, leaving others to guess what might be missing?

It seems to me that knowledge and facts are of the greatest value when rendered in service of the greater good. Details of instruction, warning, encouragement or enlightenment are lifeless—apart from breath, spirit, and action—they remain a matter of the head and not of the heart.

It’s true, not all knowledge and fact is meant to be accessed. Just ask anyone who’s ever had to deal with a malware invasion of a computer. In those instances, we are well-advised to promptly and thoroughly dispose of the misinformation and data.

On the hand, let’s consider the beauty and wonder of what can happen when we open the Bible. Do more than recite it to ourselves. Or read it for the sake of pronouncement. What if, instead, we take the exhortations to heart? Allow them to flow through our veins and inhabit our breathing. What if we truly live them?

Knowledge of itself is not life. The Divine has made sure we know that for a living fact. And no less, in the form of the person of Jesus. The greatest rabbi who’s ever preached in a temple. Or sat on a hill and spoke to the thousands. Rode on a donkey. Or hung on a Cross.

If God had not chosen presence among us in human form, where would we be apart from that living witness in death? In resurrection? In the reality of Eternal Life?

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