Read the Directions

5ba0215792b23340bf891f80889eaf80“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Yes!!! “What a great Christmas this is going to be!” I thought. A few years back I had somehow convinced the wife that we should stop buying presents for each other. Instead we were going to purchase something bigger and for both of us. That meant no more holding up nightgowns and cluelessly trying to figure if they were the right size. That meant no more standing like a dolt in ladies underwear wishing I was a million somewhere else’s. That meant no more pointing to rings and bracelets while busy salesladies asked me questions I never seemed to know the answer too. We decided to get a television. A cable ready television; just hook it up and sit down and watch.

On a cold dreary day, soon to be a rain drenched day, we ventured out to purchase our Christmas present. We brought it home and boy was it heavy and awkward to carry into the house. But my excitement of being done shopping gave me super human strength. The wife headed back out in Noah’s rain to shop for other folks. I unhooked our old TV and carried it to the basement. It was no feather either. Then I wrestled the new set in place, hooked her up and turned her on. “Great picture!” I said happily. Then I started up through the channels, 2, 4, 6, and up to 13. But from that point I only got a blank screen on the other channels. Cable ready, my foot! After poking and jiggling this and that, I boiled over in frustration. I called my wife and told her to return home immediately. The new television was not working and it needed to be returned along with some harsh words for the salespeople.

While I awaited my befuddled wife’s homecoming, I unhooked the new set and fought to get it and all its useless parts back in the big box it came from. Then I carried, dragged and pushed it (my super humanness had left me) out to her vehicle in the downpour. We stomped into the store and demanded a return and refund. An employee came and loaded the big box on a cart and we went to the electronics department. I turned my wife loose on them and stood in the background looking real mean.

My wife didn’t pick up on, but I did. Had I just heard the salesman say something about setting the other channels with the remote? Have you ever felt like you were real small, or at least wanted to be, real bad? And I really wanted to become the invisible man when my wife realized her hubby was a dolt whether he was in ladies underwear or not. She glared daggers at me as we accompanied our new old television back out to the car for another trip to our house. Fear of a redhead inspired my carrying that time. I hooked it up and ten minutes later with the directions in her hand all our channels were there. At least that is what she announced to me while I hid in a corner.

Gee whiz, reading and following the directions just seems like so much trouble. Surely, we can do things ourselves a whole lot easier. For example, God’s word, the Bible is our direction manual for living a successful and abundant life and we so often ignore it and that turns out just fine. Doesn’t it? Right? We’re great freelancers, are we not? Right? Directions? We don’t need no stinking directions – do we? Ahh, yes we do. God has given us directions “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped” for right living and we need to read them and follow them. Gee whiz, even this dolt knows that……now. 

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