Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Following Instructions

A few days ago I wrote about helping a church planter with his secular job that enables him to support his ministry role (read that post here). During that experience I also learned something important about following instructions. As you may recall from my earlier post, the church planter's secular job is to assemble movie displays for theatres. These are not simple "open the box and put the display on the wall" kind of affairs. These are "open the box and spend three hours inserting tab A into slot B while attaching strap C to holder D" kind of projects. Clearly whoever designed these displays were brilliant engineers with a flair for thinking of ways to make cardboard look like a whole city block. Since I am not an engineer, it took a while to even understand the difference between tab A and tab J and holder D and holder Z. WOW, it was complicated! But, by following the directions one step at a time, and with the help of the church planter, who had already assembled many similar displays, we got the project done. And it looked pretty good when it was finished.

There are a lot of parallels between my experience in display making and real life. Life is complicated. We do not just "open life up and set it on a shelf." In order to make life work, there are a lot of things that have to be done in the correct order and at the correct time. If we skip a step, life ends up lopsided, or looking weird. We need a set of directions for how to get through life. And it also helps if we have a friend or two who are a little more experienced in life than we are who can help us figure it out along the way.

Fortunately, life does in fact come with a set of instructions. We call it the Bible. I know many people think the Bible is out of date and no longer relevant to our post modern culture. But when I read the Bible each morning, I see people dealing with many of the very same problems that I hear about on the news each night. Financial issues, family problems, war, crime, messed up governments, churches that are doing the right thing, and churches that are doing some terrible things. Yep, all those stories and more are in the Bible. Perhaps if we started reading it, we would learn how to get our lopsided lives straightened out. And when we get involved in a church, we can find a friend or two that is a little farther a long in their life journey than we are, and they can give us some tips along the way to help us get through the rough spots.

Though life is complicated, if we follow the instructions God gave us in the Bible, and have some mature Christians friends to help us out, life can end up looking pretty good when we get to the end.

For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus


  1. Watch what you say about engineers.

    You drive on roads designed by engineers, fly in planes designed by
    engineers, and even expect to receive that package you ordered on line to
    get to you off of the conveyor belt network designed by engineers. In fact,
    the roof over your head and the computer you are typing on is engineered to
    take the snow load from the last storm as you convey your thoughts in a nice warm room.

    God Bless,
    Dave Ricard