By Charles Christian, 23, Indonesia
I have the most unique television remote control at home. To power up my television set, I must bring the remote control near to the television, and press the “power” button. If it did not turn on, I must perform a secret movement that I discovered after much difficulty. And what is that? Well, the secret move requires me to shake the remote, hit the back of it once, and then press the “power” button again. Miraculously, my television set comes alive after 2 seconds.
Well, how did this magic dance wake up my sleeping TV?
The answer … I do not know. This is akin to repairing a frequently dropped and damaged cell phone with another drop. It doesn’t make sense. But what I do know is that it works. My television comes alive. So from then on, I performed that “ritual” before every television-watching session. Until one day…
. . . on a lazy afternoon, I decided to switch the television on. As usual, I performed my routine. That was when my father noticed my bizarre actions.
“What are you doing? Why did you hit the remote control?” he asked.
“I have to do this, Dad, otherwise the TV won’t turn on!” I replied proudly, like a teacher imparting a secret move to his disciple.
My father came up to me and said, “Ah, that’s not the way. In fact, you’ll damage the gadget. The right way to turn on the TV is to press the ‘power’ button and hold for 5 seconds.”
Unconvinced but curious, I tried it. I pressed the “power” button and did nothing else. 5 seconds later, the TV lit up—without a shake, without a slam. MY TV IS ALIVE!
I asked, “How did you know this, Dad?”
“I read the instruction manual,” he replied nonchalantly.
I, on the other hand, didn’t read the manual. I concluded that my way was the right way because it works. On the contrary, it was probably the worst way. If I had continued my ritual, I could have spoilt the remote control with my constant abuse!
This experience taught me that the conclusions I make might not always be right or true. The manufacturer of the television set would know better!
In life, we often draw our own conclusions too. For example, when we fail, we might say:
“I failed because I was stupid.”
“I failed because God refused me.”
“I failed because God does not love me.”
We often forget to read the Manual provided by our Creator—the Bible. In it, we read about Abraham’s failure, Moses’ failure, David’s failure, Peter’s failure, etc. It tells us how to handle failures, why God allows failure and how He is able to work in, through, and despite human frailties.
Reading the Manual that God has given to us will help us avoid making wrong conclusions.
For “the instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living” (Psalm 119:7-8).