“I know you are lying, and I will prove it!”
With that statement, the intrepid 10-year old boy adroitly pointed out the factual flaws spoken by the con artist. Encyclopedia Brown had solved another mystery! When I was about 8 years old, I read the library’s entire collection of Encyclopedia Brown aka Leroy Brown. Brown was a walking trove of facts and trivia. He used this knowledge to solve mysteries, crimes, and help others. I am pleased to see these books are still popular.
In retrospect, these stories inspired me to be like him. About the same time I was reading these books, my parents gifted me with an encyclopedia set and I spent every free moment reading through all of the volumes. I did not use the knowledge to solve crimes but it did begin my life long interest to learn, continuing with my career as a surgical pathologist and dermatopathologist. What is the goal of learning all this knowledge? Encyclopedia Brown used it to help others. I have used it to stay current with the latest medical knowledge and help my patients and colleagues. Is there an even greater goal for which we should aspire?
But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out. That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.
Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 (NLT)
King Solomon, the wisest man of his time, was the author of Ecclesiastes and wrote the verses quoted above. He was a man whose prodigious study and writings would undoubtedly fill a modern day encyclopedia. Thus, it is instructive that at the end of his life he concluded that the end goal of learning is to learn to fear and respect God by obeying His commands. Good advice! God created and imbued us with this desire to learn. We should use this knowledge in service to God, helping others to see and learn of His grace and mercy for our lives.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.