Saturday, August 29, 2015

Google It

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

 -- Proverbs 22:6

It's almost too easy.

When you need parts for a 1957 Chevy, a great recipe for chocolate mousse or World Series box scores from 1928, we simply reach for our laptop, tablet or smart phone...and then Google it for the answer. But just 25 years ago, printed almanacs--like Information, Please!--were many households' primary source of information Google Logoon a variety of topics. The Old Farmer's Almanac, published continuously since 1792, features articles about gardening, recipes, sports and planting charts, plus predictions for the coming year related to home décor, food, fashion and technology. Whitaker's Almanack has published since 1868. And the Farmer's Almanac (without the "Old") sold its first copy in 1818.

Almanacs are not entirely relics of the past. For example, The Old Farmer's Almanac just made the news through its prediction of frigid temperatures for much of the nation throughout Winter 2015-16. It also claims that there will be a white Christmas--in one form or another--just about everywhere in the nation that gets snow. But as plausible as that may be, there's a much more reliable source of wisdom that's guided households around the world with timeless truths and principles covering topics ranging from money management to clothing to business ethics. It made the best sellers list centuries before Robert B. Thomas published the first issue of The Old Farmer's Almanac. And you can (and should) live your life by it.

It's called Proverbs. And in the pages of this Old Testament masterpiece you'll find 31 chapters of practicality comprising what some have called the greatest how-to book ever written. Most of Proverbs was written by King Solomon about 900 years before Jesus' birth. But the wisdom it conveys--micro-lessons like "The borrower is the servant to the lender"--is as relevant in today's uncertain economy as it was in pre-Roman times. Even way back then, Solomon knew that maxing out his credit cards could lead to ruin.

Although Proverbs is filled with universal truths with broad applications, it's important to note that it also contains general principles rather than guaranteed promises. Its words are also glimpses into the mind of our Creator and how He expects us to live and treat one another. But as with all wisdom and knowledge, it's one thing to just read about it...and it's quite another to actually apply it to daily living. Even the writer himself admitted in the chapters of Ecclesiastes (another book from the Old Testament) that he had failed to heed his own advice on living a prudent, God-centered life. Instead, Solomon wasted much of his incredible wealth on nearly every excess imaginable. And he purposely ignored the wisdom and discernment that God had blessed him with with years earlier.

"Nothing makes sense! Everything is nonsense," the dejected king warns us through the pages of Ecclesiastes. "I have seen it all--nothing makes sense!"

It's a timeless lesson for modern-day men and women that complements the stark wisdom of Proverbs 20:30: "Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways."

You can even Google it.

No comments: