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Monday, 23 June 2014

The Manual.

Have you ever noticed that most of the things that we purchase, and that "work", come with a manual?  Indeed, many gadgets come with two manuals - one for the installer, and one for the owner.  These manuals are of tremendous assistance in ensuring that the item to which they refer is kept in good condition; works as intended by the manufacturer; and achieves its maximum 'shelf-life'.

I'm recalling a story from my own Sunday School days (and that wasn't yesterday - or even the day before!) of two men, each of whom bought a brand new car; the same model and specification; from the same dealership; and through the same salesman.  As it happened, the two men both lived on the route that the salesman followed on his way to and from the showroom.  Each day, he would walk past those houses and look, with a certain amount of satisfaction (doubtless thinking of the commission he had gained!), at the two vehicles.

The weeks, and the months, passed.  The salesman made his regular journeys.  He looked at the two cars.  However, after more than a year, he noticed some differences.  One of the vehicles was still sitting in the owner's driveway, looking as if it had just been driven from the showroom.  The other was showing definite signs of rust, with the paint bubbling here, there, and everywhere.  One of the vehicles, if he passed by as the owner was about to drive away, still purred quietly as the driver moved up the gears with barely a sound.  The other vehicle was already beginning to sound like a cement-mixer - and that was while the engine was still idling in the drive-way.  One vehicle hadn't even got a scratch on the bodywork.  The other vehicle had dents, and scratches, and one bumper was hanging lower at the near-side than it was at the off-side.

The salesman knew what had happened.  One owner had obviously read the manufacturer's manual, and followed the instructions.  He had had his car regularly serviced.  He had ensured that it was washed, and polished, and vacuumed on a weekly basis.  He had driven with due care and consideration.  His car was still in excellent condition - body-wise, and mechanically.  The other owner simply hadn't bothered.  The manual probably hadn't been opened, let alone read and the instructions followed.  It looked as if he was a driver who drove without any consideration for kerbs, low walls, or shopping trolleys.  The car was a total mess!

One of my former pupils has just given birth to a little girl.  The comment on her Facebook page reads: "Our beautiful princess [name] was born on the 22nd June at 23:12, weighing 6 lb 8 oz. She's absolutely perfect, and mummy and daddy are in love."   

... she's absolutely perfect ..."  You and I come into the world and, for the vast majority of us, do so both physically and mentally perfect.  However, so many then grow up, and live their lives with no thought for the manufacturer's manual.  Most of us know about it - we refer to it as the Bible.  It contains all of the necessary instructions to help us keep our whole selves - body, mind, and spirit - in the best possible condition.  Of course, as we all know, the unforeseen, may happen - just as a car may be involved in an accident, that isn't always the driver's fault.  However, even then, if the car has been properly looked after, that very fact may well minimise the damage.  So with us, if we have followed the Manufacturer's manual, we may well be able to withstand situations to which we might, otherwise, succumb!

So do reads the Maker's Manual.  It provides all of the guidance you need.


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