“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…..I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”– Philippians 3:8-9a, 10
I know a lot of things. I know how to use one- and two-point perspective in drawing. I know how to make a cheesecake. I know the names of many birds in my backyard. I know how to get paint out of clothing. I could make a list of all the things I know, and I am sure you could too! In fact, I am sure there are many thing you know that I don’t, and vice versa.
What’s kind of fun for me is when I learn a piece of knowledge I never had before. Last summer I saw this beautiful dragonfly. Thank goodness for Wikipedia and Google… they helped me know that what I saw was a “Common Green Darner”. Named for its markings that look like a darning needle, it was the most beautiful dragonfly I had ever seen. I was completely enthralled with the discovery of this new insect, something I had never known before.
The Apostle Paul lays out his spiritual pedigree, so to speak, in Philippians 3: 4–his lineage, education, position, knowledge of the law…all are top-notch, faultless. He is a “boy wonder”, yet we find that he considers all these things a loss compared to knowing Christ. In fact, he calls them “rubbish”.
I think of all the things I know. Much of it is necessary to live this life, but there is also a lot of “rubbish” in there. Things that are trivial, petty, or unimportant. They are fun, useless facts of knowledge, but I harbor them and file them away in my memory. Sometimes I think my mind is cluttered up with them. I want a simpler brain life, less stuff, just focus on the basics…sound familiar?
I like Paul’s attitude– know Christ. That streamlines and simplifies things. Paul wants to know Christ so he can be like him, live like him, die like him, and live eternally like him. What a great thing to know. If we know Christ, we will discover so much more. He will reveal Himself and God to us little by little, sharing tidbits of knowledge so we can have a deep relationship with Him. Now, that is worth knowing. That is worth pursuing. And THAT is what can change our lives from one of some mindless knowledge to a lifetime of discovery!
Prayer- “God of all knowledge, I pray to know you more. Help me set aside useless, trivial knowledge and focus my attention on getting to know you. Help me to be found in you, reveal yourself to me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”