© John Denney 15 September 2005
Are you like me, and struggle with the instructions for flat pack furniture? There always seems to be one of the drawings the wrong way round. There are two missing brackets from my new foldaway barbecue on the garage shelf as I speak. The stand for our television, I confess now, has one of the shelves upside down with screw holes I had to make for myself. And many years ago, I helped my father to assemble a prepacked greenhouse. We were at it all day, and finally we gave up. The window wouldn’t open, and the door didn’t close, but we’d had enough by then. A neighbour came round the next morning to examine our handiwork. “Did you know”, she asked, “that you’ve put it up inside out?”
There was a survey earlier this year that concluded that two thirds of us don’t know how to programme the video recorder properly. The instruction booklets are too complicated for most of us.
What I didn’t do with my barbecue and my television stand; what my father and I didn’t do with his greenhouse; what most of us don’t do with the video recorder: is to read and understand the instruction manual.
When I look around at our world, I see lots of things mankind has done that haven’t been put together properly. Or if they were put together properly once, they’ve been dismantled and put back together wrongly.
· The United Nations doesn’t work very well.
· Marriage used to be the solid foundation for the upbringing of children, and our laws and taxes were designed to support it. But now, huge numbers of couples have no incentive to marry or stay together, and so there are many children being brought up by only one of their natural parents.
At one time, public
drunkenness was a matter of shame; but visit
· Perhaps they, and maybe you, and certainly I, aren’t functioning as our Maker designed us to do. Time to consult the user manual – what Christians refer to as the Book of Life – the Bible, and see how we’re supposed to do things.
As the psalmist said, GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
 Psalm 18:24, MSG