Jul 3 2011

“The More You See The Less You Know”

Last night I had a chance to see U2 in concert at Nashville.  Being a huge U2 fan I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  In many ways, however,  a U2 concert is more an experience than a show.  There are many things I admire and appreciate about this band from Ireland.  In both their songs and the messages that appear on a huge screen throughout the concert they give you much to think about. 

At one point in last night’s concert the words “The more you see the less you know” appeared on the screen above me.  At first I thought I had misread the words but when I looked again I realized I had read them correctly.  My initial reaction was that I disagreed with this statement. I know far more than I would have otherwise due to all the things I have seen in my life.  But as I continued to give some thought to the saying it occurred to me that there was definitely some truth in this maxim. In fact I decided it was akin to another truth I came to grasp in my long journey through college, graduate school and post graduate school—the more you learn the more you discover what you do not know.

I think both sayings pertain to seeing Creation.  The more I learn about God’s wonderful Creation the more I discover how much I do not know.  Likewise, the more I see of His handiwork, it makes me aware of how much I don’t know.  In one way this is frustrating and humbling.  In another way it is exhilarating and a challenge for me to learn more. 

I am quite confident that God wants and expects for us to use the minds he has given us far more than we typically do.  I have heard experts say that the typical person only uses about 15% of his or her mental capacity.  We have the ability to understand, learn and experience far more than we presently do.  Not only is this true; I would argue that our failure to learn more is a sin.  In the “greatest commandment” Jesus said we are to love God with all of our mind, heart, soul and strength.  We cannot fully love God unless our minds are engaged. 

In God’s Creation there is so much to see and also much to learn.  Recently I’ve had a couple of experiences with raccoons.  A few days ago I got to photograph a baby raccoon that a wildlife rehabilitator friend is caring for.  Then three nights ago I heard a loud noise on the deck outside my bedroom and when I explored the cause discovered that a huge raccoon was treating himself to the birdseed in my feeder.  Seeing both of these creatures made me realize that I really don’t know a whole lot about raccoons.  Seeing them has also made me wish to learn more about these “masked bandits.”  So I guess the boys from Dublin are right; the more you see the less you know.  This only makes me want to see more and to learn more.  I think that’s the way God intended it.

–Chuck