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JUST IN CASE I SCREW IT UP

bible-instruction-manualI don’t know about you, but my list of life screw ups is long and filled with more ‘what were you thinking’ moments than I care to recall. But amidst all my screw ups, there are a few things I have done right and the birth of my daughter, Jamie, tops the list.

In case you didn’t know, detailed instructions are included in packets of birth control pills,

“Take one pill at the same time each day. Failure to follow prescribed instructions may result in pregnancy.”

Oops, were you talking to me? And so, Jamie became an unexpected, but welcomed gift to her dad and me. It is one of the few times in life I’ve had no regrets about not following directions. But that hasn’t always proven to be the case.

The telling evidence that I don’t like to read directions is found in a file drawer in my office. It is filled with manuals and instructions sheets in original unopened plastic sleeves. The folders include everything from warranties to how to change the blades on the lawn mower I purchased 20 years ago. For all I know, the instructions for my 1975 birth control pills are probably in that drawer.

So what compels me, maybe you too, to hoard papers and booklets we have no intention of reading? Maybe it’s the just in case I screw it up back-up plan for those times we fail to assemble and repair things on our own; without directions.

In our spiritual life we often try to navigate our way without directions or a manual. After all, our life is busy with kids, work, shopping, and homework. Who has time to pull out instruction sheets or manuals when most of us don’t even have time to get a decent amount of sleep?

We have to make time.

When the kids are fighting and you are ready to explode, when you have worked 12-hours and still have to pick up the kids from daycare and grocery shop, read the manual. It offers directions on how to overcome the chaos of life, ways to maintain inner calmness and brings encouragement to the soul.

That manual is the Word of God and it includes detailed instruction sheets on how to avoid screw-ups in our life. There are directions on how to live a balanced life, tips on time management, sibling rivalry and more.

The Word of God should never be a just in case I screw it up back-up plan; it should BE THE PLAN! It’s an instructional manual for life.