I was today years old when I learned that a screwdriver handle is designed to fit inside a wrench so you can use the wrench to put extra torque on the screwdriver.
I was today years old when I learned that iPhone users can text other iPhone users the words “pew pew” and it will send lasers.
I was today years old when I learned that the famous painting “American Gothic” depicts a farmer and his daughter, not a farmer and his wife.
I was today years old when I learned that the word “footage” refers to the fact that motion picture film is measured in feet.
“I was today years old when…” is an online trend in which people post unique and curious facts they just learned. Maybe you are today years old when you learned about this trend. All of those “today years old” facts I included above are from this article, which has a collected a bunch more.
“I was today years old when…” is a humorous and interesting way to say, “I just learned about something new, and it blew my mind!” Usually these mind-blowing facts are related to common aspects of life and culture that we overlooked or were unaware of. Take the first one up there about screwdrivers. When you use a screwdriver, you don’t think much about the shape of the grip on its handle. You just grip it and tighten or loosen screws. But now that you read that fact, you realize, “Oh yeah…most screwdrivers handles are not circular. They have flat sides. I never thought about that before. Now I see that the flat sides could be used to fit into a wrench if I ever needed that extra bit of torque. How cool is that!”
The “I was today years old when…” trend is a reminder that we don’t always see all that there is to see about a situation. In fact, we can get stuck in a way of seeing things, all the while having very little self-awareness that our viewpoint is limited. Instead, we think we are seeing all there is to see, we think that we are correct, that we have evaluated a situation thoroughly, or sufficiently.
Then something happens, perhaps a tragedy, perhaps a failure on our part, perhaps we read or study or hear a different perspective, and we think, “Wow…I never thought about it like that before.” In our continuing study of the Gospel of John, Jesus tries to help his disciples have a new viewpoint. He wants each of his disciples to say, “I was today years old when…”. But what is the new viewpoint? What is Jesus concerned about? What does he want his disciples to learn? Take a look at John 4:27-42, and see for yourselves ahead of time. Then we’ll talk about it further on the blog next week.