Through the years, when I have read an insightful or helpful article online, I have printed it off and put it in a file in the cabinet beside my desk. I know they say things last forever on the internet, but that is simply not true. People shut down their sites, purge their content and move on to other projects.
This process of finding and printing has resulted in a couple of folders full and a stack about 5 inches high of paper. So recently, I decided to read back through all of them and throw out any material that is no longer useful.
Two things amazed me as I read through articles from the past 22 years.
First, I was amazed at the amount of material that was relevant but only for a limited time. Much of the content was written for a specific moment in history. Most of it was created before the popularity of texting, social media, and the impact of Covid. Each piece was helpful for a few months or years, and now I have thrown them in the trash as outdated and irrelevant.
The experience reminded me of a line of scripture, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.” One reason to keep reading, memorizing, studying, and listening to the word of God is that it will sustain you over a lifetime. Periodic articles are helpful in the moment, but they will always be short-lived. Scripture will remain the same.
There are continual changes in our culture, and the things written about it are many. But commit yourself to God’s word, and you will have something worth keeping.