Recently I was flipping through the open tabs on the internet browser on my phone, and I joked to my teenage daughter that 67 tabs might be too many. She agreed with more enthusiasm than I thought was necessary, expressing her disbelief that I didn’t have those tabs organized into folders.
I hate to admit it, because I consider myself fairly tech savvy, but I was not aware organizing my tabs into folders on my phone was a thing I could do. (Don’t tell my daughter. I totally played it cool, and I’m sure she believed my act that I totally knew what she was talking about.)
After I figured out how to organize my tabs into folders, I went about doing just that. I created a folder for all my word games, the daily ones I play each morning. Then I created a folder called, “Keep,” for articles that resonated deeply with me sometime over the past couple of years. Those words meant so much to me that I couldn’t force myself to close out the tabs; instead, I kept them open to return to and re-read every once in a while.
Next up, I created a folder called, “Info.” That’s where I moved helpful articles with information I knew I’d need in the future. But as I flipped through my remaining tabs, I must have clicked the wrong button.
Suddenly, all my tabs disappeared. Poof! Gone! I couldn’t find an “undo” button. I couldn’t fix this mistake. All my precious information — lists and tips and statistics and recommendations and recipes and ideas — was gone.
What struck me most as I sat there staring at my phone in disbelief was how deeply grieved I was by this loss.
Why was I so genuinely sad to have lost the information contained in those tabs? Was it really crucial to my life, to my well-being? Was I ever going to actually implement the ideas or suggestions contained on those web pages? If I never remember all the tabs that were closed out, am I truly unable to find what I need to make good choices, to go about my life?
Oof. There it was. Analyzing my reaction led to stepping on my own toes with the realization that I was looking to the internet and all the information it holds for wisdom. I was putting my trust and my faith in clever tweets and pretty infographics and insightful articles and brilliant lists.
Listen. I’m not saying God got a hold of my iPhone and erased all those bookmarked websites I’d been collecting for years. But He absolutely used the situation to tap on my shoulder and open my eyes to a hard truth.
See, several months ago I began a Bible-reading plan with hopes to read through the entire Bible in a year. After a few days, I developed a pretty solid routine of listening to my assigned chapters while getting ready in the morning. No, it wasn’t a quiet hour in my special chair with an Instagrammable cup of coffee. But it was a fresh way to hear the Word, a practical way to fit it into my everyday habits.
And it worked perfectly . . . until it didn’t. Before I knew it, I opened up my Bible app to see “missed 188 days” staring at me. Day after day, I’d loosened my grip on Scripture until I had skipped reading the Bible considerably more days than I’d followed through on my plan. Meanwhile, my precious bookmarked websites had been ripped out of my hands the day I accidentally deleted those tabs.
Since the disappearance of my beloved tabs, I’ve been thinking about Proverbs and how it compares wisdom (the kind we find in God’s Word) to precious stones, highlighting just how valuable Scripture is. Proverbs 8:10-11 says, “Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.”
How many tabs do you have open? How precious are they to you? Or, more to the point, where are you seeking wisdom, and on what are you relying? Is your faith in your own knowledge or the information you can find with a few clicks and scrolls? Or are you turning to Scripture for answers, comfort, and guidance?
If you find yourself looking to the internet or your friends or books or even “common sense” for wisdom more than you find yourself in Scripture, you might be in the same boat as me.
Today I’m setting a new goal. Not to read through the Bible in a year (although I still hope to do that someday), but to read the Bible more days than I don’t. I’m asking God to help me grab onto Scripture and hold it close to my heart while holding all other so-called wisdom loosely.
Will you join me? Will you pray with me? Let’s invite God to increase our thirst for His Word and our faith in His Wisdom.
Dear God, forgive me for relying on the world’s wisdom and putting my faith in information I can find on my own. Please loosen my grip on everything the world has to tell me and point my eyes to you and your infinite knowledge and love. Give me a desire to read Your Word, and show me exactly how to make the Bible my go-to resource. Help me learn to turn to you before I open another tab. Show me once again how your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Thank you, Lord — for giving us true wisdom and for helping me come back to it and to You. Amen.