What Does The Manual Say?

I sat watching my daughter, Tiffany, sew a dress.

To say I was impressed would be an understatement. She sews out of enjoyment. I grew up with a mom who sewed out of necessity. And you could tell it wasn’t enjoyable to her–the clothes she made were plain, simple, the same. Nothing I ever unnamed-3enjoyed wearing,

Tiffany, however, engages in the process with energy and intent. A creative process, one in which I struggle to see any fun at all.

She was, however, having a conversation with her sewing machine.

“You idiot.” No response from the machine.

“Stupid machine.” No clever comment from the machine.

“What are you doing?” No comeback, annoyed or otherwise, from the machine.

unnamed-2So Tiffany did something I rarely do.

She looked at the instruction manual.

Instruction manuals are quite useful. The whole purpose for their existence is to make using a product efficient, effective and easy. They are necessary, especially if someone has never used a similar product before.

There are those folks who look at a machine, assume they know how it should work, and ignore the instruction manual completely.

That would be me.

I find that I approach most situations with a hands-on style. I consider myself fairly bright, so I seriously think I can figure out how to operate something without much help.

Unless it’s from IKEA. Everyone needs instruction manuals from IKEA.

Watching Tif read her manual caused wrenching in my internal parts. So simple. So appropriate. If only I were that intentional. I just returned a coffee grinder to the store because it didn’t work. It was one I’d wanted. One where you picked how fine or coarse the grind. One with exact measurements. And I couldn’t get it to work.

Of course, I never read the instruction manual. I assumed it was defective.unnamed-4

Until I replaced it with a simpler model. And couldn’t get it to work either.

Tiffany picked up the little booklet accompanying the grinder. Read for a few minutes. Made a small adjustment in how it was set up.

And it worked.

Saved me another trip to the store.

I’m not sure why I don’t read instructions.There were times I suffered in school because I didn’t fully read directions. Times when I’ve gotten lost because I haven’t fully followed directions. Times when I chucked the directions all together because I was too lazy to read them. And then suffered the consequences.

You’d think I’d learn.

God’s made life doable by giving us a veritable instruction manual. Which we need, because none of us arrived in this world with one. In it, He outlines life, the consequences of choices, and how to live in a manner that allows one to experience peace and genuine contentment with life.

It’s the Bible.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right,”   2 Timothy 3:16

If there’s a manual out there that makes living life in this world better for me, it makes sense to follow it.

The Author of the manual knows what He’s talking about.







9 responses to “What Does The Manual Say?”

  1. I just love what you write! So simply true. And thanks for posting on Monday mornings…it gets my week off to a good start!


    1. You are a forever encourager! Thanks for reading–and commenting. Means a lot!


  2. alice fredricks Avatar
    alice fredricks

    I’m JUST like you, Dayle! The instruction manual gets read as a last resort! I pray that I’m more intentional about God’s instruction manual!!


    1. I hear you, my friend. Purposeful and more intentional. Thanks for your encouragement.


  3. It’s a good thing GOD’S made life doable by giving us HIS Instruction Manual, Dayle! Thank you for your reminder, as well! [I better follow HIS MANUAL better.] Blessings!


    1. I’ve always seen you as someone who is a great example of a Manual follower!


  4. Truth expressed with humor and love. You are awesome. You have reminded me to look at THE manual more often also.


    1. It’s amazing what a little reading can do for you, right? Love you, friend!


  5. well, if there’s one manual that I know you are faithful at checking, it would be God’s. I still don’t think I have ever met anyone more consistent on that score as you are. Besides those other things are for people with bigger filing cabinets….oh, did I mention my drawers full of those and their counterpart warranties?


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