Friday, May 17, 2013


If you click on the above graphic, you’ll be taken to the Dictionary of Numbers site. I ran across it this morning when I followed a link from another’s blog on her faith. In her blog was this quote:
A friend of mine, Glen Chiacchieri, has created a Chrome extension to help solve this problem: Dictionary of Numbers. It searches the text in your browser for quantities it understands and inserts contextual statements in brackets. It might turn the phrase “315 million people” into “315 million people [≈ the population of the United States]“.
As Glen explains, he once read an article about US wildfires which mentioned that the largest fire of the year had burned “300,000 acres.” This didn’t mean much to Glen:
“I have no idea how much 300,000 acres is [...] But we need to understand this number to answer the obvious question: how much of the United States was on fire? This is why I made Dictionary of Numbers.”
Dictionary of Numbers helpfully informs me that 300,000 acres is about the area of LA or Hong Kong.
I realized that we do not relate to things that we cannot apply to something we understand.  Oh, we have the knowledge that 300,000 of anything is a lot, but equating that to the physical area of Los Angeles rather than a cloud of gnats is where understanding begins.

Even greater understanding comes when we have comparisons. Americans more easily visualize Los Angeles than we do Hong Kong. Putting those two places together in our minds as equal in size enhances our knowledge of both, though we may never set foot in either one.

So – where’s the daily spiritual application?  What scripture supports this? One of my favorites – used often on this site:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)

What? You don’t get the connection? Well, let me explain a bit further.

When we read about that 300,000 acres, and don’t know how to equate that to a physical size, we can’t understand the extent of the damage unless we do the research, the searching, to add the application to our knowledge base.

When we read about someone’s act of faith, their relating a spiritual experience, their understanding of salvation, we can’t understand the extent of their faith until we do the research, the searching, to add the application to our knowledge base.

For some readers, changing from a physical world application to a spiritual experience application is a trigger to shut down and move away. Please don’t. Please understand that to simply state there is no spiritual existence without research is simply denial.

Take some time to find out how a belief system is applied, for good or for bad, and what that application means to 7,000,000,000 (current world population) people. Study, seriously, the benefits of the greatest, and the second greatest, commandments.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)

Study with people who put their faith and their actions in these verses. If they are living what they believe, they can explain it.

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