I am making a confession; my brain is like a blotter for trivia. As someone close to me described me, “You are a veritable repository of useless information!” Praise God, I also know the truth! Someone in the American Trivia Association knows the number of Opie Taylor’s Boy Scout troop in Mayberry from the old “Andy Griffith Show.” One year, the ATA hosted the world’s largest trivia contest, utilizing 535 teams, containing a total of 11,836 combatants.
Paul confronted non-stop trivial pursuit as he became a missionary on Mars’ Hill in Athens, Greece, where the greatest minds of the ancient world gathered for no other purpose, according to Acts 17:21, “except telling or hearing something new.” Paul refused to play by the rules and introduced the Trinity into the trivia. He rocked their world by talking about God as Creator and as Judge, who “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). To top it off, Paul shot a missile of truth by speaking about how Jesus was raised from the dead and that He will one day “judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31). Since Christ is risen, we must recognize Him as Lord.
The word trivia comes from the name of an ancient Roman pub, located at a 3-way intersection (tri via, or “Three Ways”). That’s where toga types swapped gossip. Whether it is obsessing over a professional athlete's stats or following numerous side trips on the internet, it is easy to miss the point of life. Without knowing “The Way” our entire lives become trivial pursuit.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just more news, but the best news. I am not concerned about how many dimples are on the surface of a golf ball, but how many will go to God’s Heaven. Pontius Pilate quizzed Jesus with, “What is truth?” Jesus was silent indicating a response louder than words: “The truth is standing right here facing you; Pilate, you won’t face up to your need.” I pray that you will not “mock” like the Greek intelligentsia or put it off saying, “We will hear you again about this” (Acts 17:32). May you “Join us and believe” even today (Acts 17:34). That’s a big win!