You know, I hadn’t watched TV since 1992 until this past year.

Wow, what a statement! It rather resoundingly puts me into that category of “weird people,” doesn’t it?

However, this post is not actually about the pros and cons of TV-watching.

So, to continue. Though I don’t watch TV  hardly ever, we do watch the occasional DVD. My family jokes that I only watch movies I’ve already seen—which is pretty close to true.

However, this post is not actually about the pros and cons of DVD-watching.

We own a flat-screen TV which we use solely for watching said occasional DVD.  We bought it on sale four years ago, after our long-lived 13-inch TV became unusable.

At last!  We have now arrived at the point.

Because we were extremely busy four years ago, we never bothered to read the instruction manual from the manufacturer.  We just hooked up a few wires and fiddled with it until we managed to get it to work with our DVD player.

When my children introduced me to the new technology of streaming movies from my computer, I was intrigued.  I had a computer, I had a flat screen TV, and, fortunately, the two were easily connected.

What we were surprised to discover was that, though we could see the movie, we could not hear the movie. 

Huh.  I would have thought that the folks designing flat screen TVs would have figured that out before they put them on the market.

But, you can’t have everything.  So, anytime we wanted to stream a movie, we would dutifully hook up our little old speakers to my computer.  They didn’t work well, but, at least we could hear something.

Until Saturday night.  While watching God of Wonders, our speakers decided to play only a loud crackling, hissing sound.  No voices, only hiss.

Enter the Manufacturer’s Instruction Manual.

Suddenly, I wondered if the unused cables that came with our flat-screen, currently residing in my desk drawer, might possibly have an application to this situation.  We dug out the unread Instruction Manual, and began to try to decipher its techno-language.  To our amazement, we found that those cables DID, in fact, have something rather startling to offer.  When we hooked them up to the flat screen, following the diagram given, and then plugged them into the computer, the built-in flat screen speakers brought forth glorious sound!!

As it turns out, the manufacturer actually had thought through the issues and had clearly addressed each one in the instruction manual.  It was rather humbling to find out that we could have actually been listening—for four years!—to richly rewarding sound, if only we had taken the time to read it. 

Do you know where I’m going with this?

I started pondering right away about how many other areas of my life may have been much less than they could have been if only I had taken the time to read the instructions. What had I missed?  And, dear friend, what have you missed?

Because, you see, we live in an age that does not have time to stop and read and listen and learn. Culturally, we are running just as fast as we can, and there is NO time to “waste” on instruction manuals.  I’m not speaking only of technological toys, either.  It’s reading the Teacher’s Guide before we toss the curriculum to our kids, it’s reading the garden manual before we plop that flower in the ground, it’s reading the cookbook before we throw the casserole in the oven.  And, most of all, dear friends, it’s reading the Bible—the most important of all Instruction Manuals, given from the Creator of each one of us—before we engage our day.

If this resonates with you, I encourage you to read Proverbs 3:13-18.  It will open your eyes to the amazing possibilities!

Remember, stay relational!