Gone are the days when you plunge into your parents’ living room set of encyclopedias, digging through the volumes alphabetically to find the answer to that relentless question plaguing you: When does the whooping crane migrate?
Today you are one quick Google search away from answering that question and pretty much anything else that inquiring minds want to know. By the way, didn’t want to leave you with a cliffhanger: it’s mid-September for the whooping crane.
Google is the most-searched search engine in the world and also provides insight into what interests us. I googled (yes, it’s a verb now) the top searches in both 2017 and thus far in 2018, and it was a fascinating look into our culture.
What is our culture searching for?
This year it seems Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga were among those who captivated us in the music category, while pop culture had us interested in Matt Lauer and Meghan Markle. Our techie folks were into the iPhone X, and apparently a whole host of you people were trying to figure out how to make slime, while others were in the market to lose belly fat fast.
But 2018 is only half written.
Each December, Google releases the “Year In Search,” a video summarizing the Google searches shaping that given year. I recently watched “Year In Search 2017” and was reminded of the hardships of last year.
According to this video, the trending searches of 2017 included these questions:
- How far can North Korean missiles go
- How much will the wall cost
- How many refugees are there in the world
- How do hurricanes form
- How to help victims in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Houston, and Las Vegas
- How to make a protest sign
- How to run for office
- How to make a difference
- How to be a strong woman (#MeToo)
- How to be a good parent
- How to be fearless
On any given year, it may be a different country, a new natural disaster, or a different variation of social injustice, but it’s the same problems painted with new dates, new faces, and new names. Solomon was right in Ecclesiastes 1:9 when he lamented, “What has been will be again, what has done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
What is our culture not searching for?
Perhaps even more enlightening is what’s missing from the lists of top Google searches. In my admittedly highly unscientific study, I could not find a single list where the Bible or God was listed in the top 100. Mind you, pornographic content was listed four times in the top 100 but absolutely nothing religious.
Think about this: if Google processes roughly 40,000 searches every second, or 3.5 billion searches per day, and God isn’t even in the top 100 searches–Houston, we have a problem. Our culture is clearly searching for answers to life’s tough questions but doing so in ways that will not offer the true wisdom that only God provides.
Who should our culture be searching for?
God is the only source for those seeking true wisdom and answers to life’s toughest questions. Solomon said it best: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
Who is God? He is our Creator (Genesis 1); our refuge (Psalm 46:1); our stronghold in trouble (Nahum 1:7); our deliverer (Psalm 18:2); our healer (Exodus 15:26); our provider (Philippians 4:19); our advocate (1 John 2:1-2); the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
Technology advances, presidential administrations change, new tragedies persist, yet our culture is still searching for the same answers. As Christians, our challenge should not be in finding the answers but instead helping our culture redefine the question. Our culture is Googling “how” questions when they should actually be seeking “who.”
As Christians, we have the one true answer, and that is exactly why we do what we do at the Denison Forum. The Daily Article equips us to speak into current events from God’s word, while First 15 encourages us to spend meaningful time with the Lord each day. And Christian Parenting strives to walk alongside parents as they raise families on solid, biblical truth.
Solomon concluded there was nothing new under the sun, so he anchored his faith in the One who reigns over the sun. When you put your trust in the One who is sovereign over all things, the One who is the answer to all of life’s questions, your life displays the only answer our culture truly needs: Jesus.
A note from Jim:
Cynthia Yanof is writing today’s Daily Article. I’ve known Cynthia for many years and know you will appreciate her article. She and my wife Janet are directing the ChristianParenting.org website.
This week they are launching a new podcast called “Pardon the Mess,” honest conversations about the challenges and joys of parenting.
Cynthia is the host of the podcast. She has interviewed a variety of people including Tony Dungy, Michael W. Smith, Mike Singletary, and some local personalities like Chip Waggoner, Kay Wyma, and my personal favorite, Janet Denison.
I encourage you to visit the podcast page and subscribe today