The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the largest museums in North America, with over 13 million specimens and objects in its collection. But you won’t find most of them on display. The museum has only 40 exhibit and gallery areas, meaning that the museum must store much of what it owns.
The museum must curate its exhibits by choosing what to feature and what to store.
It’s the same with our lives.
Researchers estimate that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created every day. Every minute, 500 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube. Over a decade ago, the New York Times reported that the average American consumes about 34 gigabytes of data and information each day, an increase of about 350 percent over nearly three decades. The Library of Congress receives copies of every copyrighted book, but doesn’t have room to keep them all.
It’s impossible to keep up.
One of the most important skills we need to learn is how to curate all of this information, and Psalm 1 gives us some advice on how we can do so well.
Minimize Certain Inputs
Psalm 1 advises us to minimize some inputs. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers…” (Psalm 1:1).
The progression is interesting. We start by walking in the counsel of the wicked; we progress to standing in the way of sinners; we end up sitting in the seat of scoffers. “When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse,” observed Charles Spurgeon.
We imperil our souls by degrees. We end up in a spiritually unhealthy place — like chaff, like the wicked who can’t face God’s judgment — as we slowly allow ourselves to be influenced by those who drive us, step by slow step, away from God.
Certain podcasts, books, movies, and social media accounts are dangerous to our souls. The wise Christian develops a low tolerance for any inputs that begin to slowly lead us in a spiritually dangerous direction.
Maximize Input from God
In contrast, David pronounces blessing on the man whose “delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
This is a person who not only reads Scripture but delights in it and meditates on it. The wise person delights in God’s instruction because he or she delights in God.
Lifeway Research conducted a study to determine the behaviours that lead to spiritual growth. They discovered that reading the Bible is associated with spiritual growth. “According to our research, the input goal of reading the Bible on a regular basis was one of the greatest predictors to maturity across all the output goals.”
One of the greatest tasks we face is to curate our lives so that we remove inputs that draw us away from God by degrees, and at the same time maximize the role of Scripture in our lives. The results are worth it: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Curate your life. You’re bombarded by messages every day. Get rid of podcasts, books, shows, and social media accounts that draw you away from God. Be sure that the most formative influence in your life is God’s Word.