How Do I Set the Clock?
We recently upgraded our 2003 Honda for a 2014 Toyota. Newer cars have more technology, and more technology means figuring out how to do simple things using new procedures. Like setting the clock. And syncing the phone to the audio system. And figuring out the meaning of the symbols on the instrument cluster.
So getting the new vehicle meant a trip through the owner's manual to find out where things are located and how to work them. I am grateful that manufacturers of automobiles and microwaves and computers and printers provide owner's manuals for the equipment. Because some things are pretty easy to figure out by trying, and other things are not so self-apparent.
Some things about an automobile are universal and constant, and we don't have to consult the owner's manual to figure them out. The accelerator, brake pedal and steering wheel all work the same on the two vehicles. Some things are unique to the particular vehicle, and take some explaining. Setting the cruise control is different between a Honda and a Toyota, and a quick trip to the owner's manual can help quickly figure out how to set it on a new-to-me car.
I am free to disregard the owner's manual. I can figure things out for myself, and I can treat the car the way I want to treat it. But refusing to consult the manual can mean I leave some things about my car undiscovered. I may not ever figure out how to set the clock by trial and error! So I might spend the entire time I own the vehicle driving around on the wrong time. While that is not urgent or life-changing, it can be a big nuisance.
On the other hand, if I ignore the oil change interval and just change the oil when I feel like it, I might well ruin the engine and cause myself huge problems. An owner's manual is an important guide to properly operating the vehicle.
God has provided us with an owner's manual for having a relationship with Him and living a life of greatest fulfillment and purpose. It's called the Bible. Many of the same things that are true about my auto owner's manual are true about the Bible.
Some things are universal and intuitive about life, and we figure them out without having to read them in the Bible. The golden rule - do to others as you would have them do to you - is pretty universal and easily understood, even if one has not read the Bible and discovered that Jesus taught it.
Other things may not ever be discovered if we do not read and study the Book given to us by our Maker to guide us into all truth. If we did not have the Bible, it's not likely we would ever come to know that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 NIV)
I am free to disregard the Owner's manual, but I do so at my own risk. I am free to believe I know more about my life than the One who made me, but that does not make it so. And living my life by trial and error, without considering the truth of Scripture, is dangerously reckless, with eternity on the line.
I choose to live my life based on the timeless truth of an ancient book. I choose to do so because I believe the Bible is not just a human book, but the very Word of God. I believe its truth is true, no matter how many or how few believe it.
And this I know: following the precepts of Scripture has led to a life of fulfillment and joy. Knowing the God of the Bible through His Son, Jesus Christ, has changed everything for me. So I choose to continue to read and study and follow the great truths of the Bible. In its pages I find Jesus, and Jesus grants forgiveness and eternal life!
Now, which button do I push again to set that clock?