Growing up in a retail family, I learned early on that few things in life come previously assembled. Indeed, I spent most of my adolescent years piecing together everything from bicycles to barbecue grills. In fact, I have often wished I had a dollar for all of the contraptions I assembled during my adolescent years. Without question, I’d be a rich man today.
Most items I worked on in my father’s store were the same old, same old from year to year, which made most of my work go a lot quicker and easier. But occasionally, a manufacturer would tweak a product in such a way that my standard approach was no longer up to the task. It was then I would go to my father and ask for his help. My father’s response to my earnest pleas was “When all else fails, follow the instructions.”
As we approach this Father’s Day weekend, I’ve thought a lot about the different pieces of advice my father gave me over the years, all of it wise and beneficial. But of all the good direction he gave me, I don’t know that I’ve ever profited from any more than that one about following the instructions, and not just about bicycles and barbecue grills. Looking back, I have come to see that when I have thought I knew how life worked, I too often found myself having to go back to “nuts and bolts” principles that ensured how the various parts of my life were to come together in a way that represented God’s divine design. It’s been when I have gotten ahead of God or presumed upon His power to make up for my shortcomings that I have ended up with something that resembles nothing akin to His holy intentions.
You may be like I have been in terms of your grand assumptions on life, and it may have landed you in a tough spot or two as well. But we don’t have to be mired in our ignorance, and ignorance is no excuse anyway. Fortunately, we have clear direction in Scripture as to how life should go, because of how the Bible is the perfect guide for how our little lives are to fit perfectly into God’s grand design. When everything else fails and we feel disconnected and out of place, heeding the Word of our Heavenly Father never fails to get us to where God always designed for us to be.
Just like most things in life, we humans don’t come already assembled. Some work is necessary for us to be made complete. The best news of all is that God has provided the way. All that is left is for us to be faithful in doing and becoming what we were created to do and be.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).