Knowledge Does Not Equal Growth
Technology today allows almost any person at any time to access volumes of knowledge via the Internet. From winners of World Series to hunting strategies (ok those are my searches), one can gain knowledge at an incredible rate of speed. This technology I find useful in many areas of life, even when prepping for a sermon. But finding commentary and interesting historical facts for a sermon does not mean that I have applied the Scriptural principle in my life, though.
Following my blog, you quickly learn I love the outdoors, especially bow hunting. I also believe strongly in using the outdoor environment to cultivate spiritual growth. I guess one can say that is my “technological” form of transferring information. One year, a friend of mine in church asked me if I would take him hunting. He was as green as a spring sapling. He had no idea how to hunt or where to even begin. Yet he was determined and wanted to learn. Luckily for him, bow season was only nine months away when he approached me that Sunday morning with the request to take him hunting.
I encouraged him to find a good bow, buy high quality boots and hunting gear. So, within one week, Dave had the bow and all the bells and whistles that one would need to fair well in the North Idaho outdoors. Along with an impressive backpack and other gear, Dave bought stacks of hunting videos. I mean stacks of them.
Week by week got marked off the calendar, with the bow season quickly approaching, and every Sunday, Dave would update me on what he was learning. He thought he was really starting to understand this “elk hunting thing,” and his new found lingo made its way into every conversation. I would smile, nodding my head, excited for him, but also knowing in my heart that until he got his new boots dirty, he was still a greenhorn.
The day came, and we set out at 3:30am hoping to put him within bow range of an elk. By 6:30 am, we were surrounded by an entire herd. I was seeing cows, calves and several young bulls passing around us through the timber. Soon, the big, dominant herd bull announced his presence with a prominent bugle that echoed all around us. I put Dave in the ideal spot to get a shot and began to call. The herd bull ran almost straight to me (it rarely happens that way)! I watched in amazement as the elk walked right in front of Dave. More amazed, I looked over to see Dave just sit on a log and watch the bull walk right past him. He never drew his bow, didn’t make even the slightest movement to take a shot.
As quickly as it all started, it was over, and the herd of elk moved down the hill away from us. I got up and crossed the 20 yards between Dave and me to see if he had died, choked or just completely blew it. Never in my life had I seen a human that white. Dave was the color of fresh snow and shaking like a leaf in the wind.
He locked up. The intensity of the event was more than he had prepared for. His preparation for that morning hunt was vast, but no hunting video or article on elk calling could quite prepare him for that moment. Head knowledge alone could not get him to calmly draw the bow and execute a shot. Dave could tell you every type of call that existed, but he had no experience to deal with the real life circumstance.
In our walk with Jesus, we can study and study Scripture, know every meaning of every word. Yet, if it is never put into practice, can we ever truly say we “know” the Word? Even worse, without practice, do we ever truly know the Author of the Word? Dave had volumes of head knowledge, but simply lacked the practical application and experience it took to succeed in the moment. We must not only be hearers of the Word, but doers! The Word of God must go beyond head knowledge to real-life application. It is there we grow spiritually.