Life comes with some assembly required

There are three magic words known to anyone who has bought toys, furniture, bikes and almost anything short of a box of cereal: Some Assembly Required. The tricky part is knowing what “some” means. “Some” meant 4 hours to assemble my barbecue grill. It meant just a few minutes to complete my fishing rod holder.

The barbecue grill required paying careful attention to the instructions. In fact, by grabbing the wrong 6 screws during one of the steps, I had to backtrack and lost a good 15 to 30 minutes. The fishing rod holder was one of the easiest projects. I didn’t even look at the instructions. I simply looked at the pictures and snapped it together quickly.

Life itself doesn’t come without some assembly being required. We build our lives and character as we grow. It requires both the instructions and the pictures. Sometimes we need the instruction manual. My heart is just too selfish to simply do what I immediately think is the loving thing. I go to the Bible to be instructed. It is an old manual, to be sure. But God and people haven’t changed and the wisdom found therein leads to a full life.

But I also find myself in need of something else. I need the pictures. In fact, the instruction manual itself tells me to look at the pictures. It says that older men and women should teach the younger. That sometimes takes words. But more often it is the powerful example that brings home the point.

So, for example, what does the Bible say? “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” This is found in Micah 6:8. I need to hear it. But I also need to remember one of my old Bible professors, Dr. Raymond Kelcy, who knew more Bible than anyone else I knew but always spoke gently with us students. Even when some stubborn student would get riled and want to get into an argument Dr. Kelcy never raised his voice and always sought to see their side. His picture was one of humility. Give me instructions and pictures! I need the Bible to tell me humility is a valuable part of a fully assembled life. I need more pictures like Dr. Kelcy to show me how the humble person looks and acts.

Our need for pictures should inspire us all to want to live a fully assembled life. After all, who knows who might be looking to us for a picture of what life should look like? A young child, a neighbor, or perhaps a family member may even now be watching to see how we are handling things. If our picture is all they see, will they be able to put their lives together during some of the difficult steps?

So spend time in the manual. Look around at the good pictures that surround you. And never forget to be that good picture yourself.


Rick Cupp is Minister of the Kenai Fellowship. Sunday Bible classes are at 10:00 a.m., Coffee and Fellowship at 10:45 a.m. and Worship at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday meal is at 6:15 p.m. at Worship is at 7:00 p.m.