Thursday, February 19, 2015

Read the Directions

       It was a not-so-subtle reminder of how much I hate those words. It triggered an unpleasant memory.  We purchased a "Cadillac" treadmill for my wife and when I picked it up at the store, there on the box were the words Assembly Required.  My mind raced back to that day in my garage.  Dozens of scattered tools and parts littered the garage.  Right in the middle of that mess was a large folded paper that was clearly labeled Instructions.  
       Now you need to know that I always start with the best of intentions.  Follow the instructions and assembly should pose no problem.  That usually works until about step #4, when the male ego kicks in and the instructions get pushed aside.  
       This computer desk that should have been assembled in an hour had now been spread across the garage floor for over three hours.  When I neglected the instructions and went with my intuition, I assembled some parts out of sequence.  To install the final part, I had to disassemble half the unit.  If I had only faithfully read and followed the instructions, I could have spared myself the anger, frustration, and sense of failure that invaded my life that night.  AND that is why I had my good friend, Paul, help with the assembly of the treadmill.
        There are far too many well-meaning Christians who fall victim to something I call "Biblicus Neglectus."  We push God's instruction guide aside and do our very best to live that Christian life.  The reasons vary, but the results are the same. When strife, strain, and struggles roar into our lives, we sometimes retreat into cynicism, frustration, and despair.  Occasional chaos is a fact of life.  Whether we become victims or victors really depends on how closely we have read and follow the instructions.  
       Assembly a life that pleases God is a life-long pursuit, but it doesn't have to be chaotic or frustrating.  The psalmist reminds us that God has given us indestructible guidelines so that we can know Him and how He wants us to live.  The quality of our lives is directly related to how we answer this questions:  "Will I read and follow His instructions today?"

Well, will you?

I take pleasure in your laws; your commands I will not forget. Open my eyes so that I may see the wonderful truths in your law. Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.

                                                     Psalm 119:16, 18, 105