Monday, June 27, 2016

The Owner's Manual

One of my greatest weaknesses is the kitchen. I'm not meaning I have a weakness to resisting foods of the kitchen. I mean I commit consistent folly in the preparation of foods in the kitchen. I have four recipes that are edible. One of those four is scrambled eggs.

The end.
That's the end of my kitchen abilities. 

Once I made lasagna from scratch. I did purchase the pasta, but the tomato sauce was purely concocted in my own kitchen. I was so excited and proud of this dish. I lovingly layered the cheeses & sauces, and with a flush of pride and a domestic-diva flourish I offered it to my family. And guests. (An unplanned addition to dinner.) Everyone served themselves via my informal hostessing style. As I cut into my own square of the dish, nestled in the middle of my plate, it seemed something was wrong. It took me a second of chewing to realize what it was.

Not a single layer of lasagna between the layers of tomato sauce and cheese. I had boiled the pasta, strained it, then left it sitting in the strainer on the counter. I brought the bowl of now congealed pasta to the table and we all self-served weird blobs of sticky dough on top of our sauce/cheese squares. 

I've never made the dish again. 

Whether we do things right and in order determines the definition of the thing. My dish did not turn out to be "lasagna." It was edible, tasty even, but it was not lasagna.

Our lives require that we properly build them, or else we find ourselves alive, but not living. Everybody dies, but not everyone lives. To truly live we must follow the guidebook. I dislike when parents say that babies do not come with an instruction manual. Yes, they do. It's called The Holy Bible.

We have ruined society by arrogantly believing we can build a successful life without referring to The Owner's Manual, which is the Word of God. God created humanity in His own image. The creator of a thing is the best person to have a conversation with about that thing. The creator knows every detail intimately. If you have questions, the creator has answers. As an Apple user I was bummed when Steve Jobs was no longer at the helm. It's not that I knew him personally and would therefore mourn his death. But I knew his passion for his creation kept the quality of my daily-used product (the one I read scripture from, write blogs on, make todo lists in, stay connected with friends and family by) at tip-top, well-running order. Comparisons can be equally made with the Keurig, America's new convenience machine. Truly, any creation you enjoy, the creator of that thing could tell you how to keep it humming like new. 

God is the creator of humanity. His ways are higher than our ways because He's the creator. He's not on a power trip. It's just a fact. Therefore, for our lives to be joyful, and abundant, and peaceful, healthy, and whole, we must follow the instructions of The Owner's Manual called, The Holy Bible.

Jesus gave us a story of two houses, one built on the rock, the other built on the sand. He told about a great storm that came and rained down on both houses. The house built on the sand, the one without a foundation, was destroyed. While the house built on a firm foundation stood the test. Jesus told us that this is how our lives are. We have a choice as to where we each build our lives, on The Rock, Christ Jesus. Or on the shifting sands of present culture. We each choose where we're going to build our lives. 

We must prioritize building our lives on God's Word, from the foundation, to the eaves. Every nail, every column, every detail of decor, each and every decision must mirror the Word of God.

Keep the Bible ever at the ready in your life. Even when you're not specifically looking for direction, read it every day. It's a living book and it will quietly hitch a ride in your mind until you do need it. And at that time it will pipe up and say, "Here's how you should handle this..." 

Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Matthew 7:24 (KJV)
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Matthew 13:23 (KJV)
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

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