"Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life." Proverbs 4:13 (NIV)
My sweet husband gave me an IPOD for my birthday. That was back in October. I still don't know how to use it. With the help of my 10 year old, I have enjoyed some of the music that my 23 year old downloaded...or uploaded...whichever you do...to it. I came across the instructions yesterday as I was looking through a drawer (that's right beside my recliner...close at hand, because I always meant to read them). I hope to get to them soon.
That same generous husband bought me a camera a couple of years back...before a family trip to New York City. I have probably about 1500 pictures on that little disk-y thing that you put in it. I have printed a few...up- or downloaded some...again with the help of my daughters. I do know how to use the delete button on it. I've managed to take some really good pictures...but all on the same setting, because I didn't read the instruction booklet. I think it is in the cabinet in my den. I have actually taken the booklet with me on a couple of trips, really intending to read it.
I was given my laptop by an amazing group of parents at a school where I taught a few years back. They were thrilled to be an avenue of provision on my journey to becoming a writer. I'm embarrassed to say that the instruction book is "somewhere"...unread...I really thought I'd get to it. As with the IPOD and the camera, my precious daughters have taught me how to do most of what I know how to do...including setting up my blogsite.
I have three amazing tools available to enhance my life, preserve memories, equip me for tasks. They are effective...and used often, well, except the IPOD...I've really got to learn how to use that thing! Yes, I enjoy them, but could use them to their full potential if I would just take the time to read the instruction books.
You know, the most important instruction book is God's Word. It won't tell me how to work my IPOD, camera, or computer...but it does tell me to heed instruction. I think a lot of times we keep our Bibles close by...planning to read them, but perhaps not being intentional about it. I must confess something. I started out the year reading through the Chronological Bible led by my dear sister in Christ, Wendy Pope at Proverbs 31 ministries (her link is on my favorite blog list). I was mostly consistent until a few weeks ago when some areas of my life turned a little upside down. I know in my head that when things go crazy God's Word is the thing you need. However, I let busy-ness...the pit...and reality TV (to escape my own!) rob me of the encouragement I needed. I was even reminded by my Mama and my precious friend, Gloria (who knows all about how to use her camera) of the way God was speaking right to my needs...but I still got behind. Now I still went to church. I still had my devotion time each day. I even went to the Women of Joy conference...God's plan way before I knew that would be just what I needed. But in all of those days I missed God's words to me...His voice of encouragement and call to persevere...to be encouraged...to have joy. I pledge today to start my program of catching up and getting back on track so that I don't miss what He has to say to me.
This morning as I read from a beautiful devotion book that my daughters gave me for Mother's Day, this message was driven home. It is from Sarah Young's book Jesus Calling.
"I, the Creator of the universe, am with you and for you. What more could you need? When you feel some lack, it is because you are not connecting with Me at a deep level. I offer abundant Life; your part is to trust Me, refusing to worry about anything.
It is not so much adverse events that make you anxious as it is your thoughts about those events. Your mind engages in efforts to take control of a situation, to bring about the result you desire. Your thoughts close in on the problem like ravenous wolves. Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I am in charge of your life. The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to My Presence. Stop all your striving, and watch to see what I will do. I am the Lord!"
The most important instruction that I need is to seek Him first. (Matt. 6:33) In His Word He teaches me how to love...to forgive...to pray...to endure...to trust...the importance of Godly presence and counsel of friends. I'm thankful to have a lot of His Words hidden in my heart...and Christian music playing in my head...to speak to me at all times, even when I'm not being faithful to spending quality time in His Word.
I've gotta run...to the Father...to His Word. I've got some catching up to do!
Father God, thank You for Your Word. Help me to daily "Accept instruction from [Your] mouth and lay [Your] words upon my heart." Job 22:22 (NIV) My hope is in You.