Headlines, Or Details

Trivial Pursuit was a favorite game…

Trivial Pursuit 001Especially back in the mid-80’s when it showed up right before Christmas. It kept selling out. But one store promised me the hope that a shipment may come in right before the holidays. So, I put my name on a “call list”…and sure enough, it showed up a few days before and I payed a whopping $45.00! Or was it $100.00… Not sure. It was on the black market for several hundred!

It was the Genus (beginning) edition and as we opened it, an excitement was felt for a new game. A challenge. Something totally different than other games we were used to. We immediately played it for hours and I realized mom and dad knew a lot more than I did!

But after I got the hang of it, it seemed that I was seldom on the losing side. We would pit the men against the women, couples against couple, or just one against the other. A friend of mine became very good at the game, but we later found that he carried the cards around with him and studied them throughout the day. Not that he cheated, or anything, But he was simply learning the Headlines!

The one thing I learned about the game, we all have salient facts of things we did not know we knew! Or, we were capable of surmising a possible answer. At the very least we could all say, “I don’t know!”

The other thing I learned was that the things I knew something about were mostly the headlines, and not so much the details. I realize this is probably true about many of us. We have Googled something, read a few headlines or paragraphs, and now we all know all there is to know about some subject!

That’s headline news. Not the details or back story.

Through the years I have read with much variety. Fiction. History. Biographies. Religion. Even varied science studies. I have subscribed to magazines and journals from photography to astronomy, science to mechanics. Since the internet has become popular, I read broader and deeper than ever before. Journals, leadership, apologetics, poetry… The list is endless.

As a kid we were blessed to be around readers. Our house had a full set of knowledge books that we referenced often enough that they became our friends. Mom subscribed to Readers Digest Condensed Books and I can tell you I read a lot of stories by a lot of authors. I cannot remember their names, but I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of learning.

Why are we happy with only the headlines when there is so much amazing detail out there?

For the most part, it seems, we follow headlines and let them tell us the story instead of looking for the details that give us the breadth and width of a story, or facts.

But then, the opposite part of reading and appearing to know a lot is how to distinguish between opposing facts in order to determine the truth. It’s like hearing a debate and being filled with enough knowledge and wisdom to discern between what is right…and what is wrong.

This is why leaders must be readers! Read deep, and broad. Glean as much information as possible. Then use it wisely to be the God called leader you were meant to be! Whether to a large following, or simply to your family. Never be happy with only a headline knowledge… Know the full story!

Solomon was chosen by God to replace David, his father, as King. Solomon must have been an intelligent and wise person to start with, but the time came for him to occupy that important position. God offered him the opportunity to ask for anything.

What would you ask for?

Solomon said that this would be a difficult job with such a numerous array of people, and though he was young, he could only ask for one thing.

Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9 NKJV)

God told him that he would have a wise and understanding heart and there was none like him before, or will ever be like him again. Solomon proved his wisdom over and again. His natural ability was enhanced by a Godly blessing. But we do not find Solomon being a “headline” type of individual. He was a digger of knowledge.

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(Proverbs 1:1-7 NKJV)

Maybe this is a lesson we should all learn again. And again. Never short circuit yourself by not adding a deeper understanding of the facts around you. Dig deeper for understanding instead of simply being satisfied with a headline view of the world.