Read the Directions


With the holidays approaching once again, I sit here remembering the ghosts of Christmases past. It seems when the kids are small everything you buy them has to be put together. Oh the joys of trikes, bikes, doll buggies, toy boxes….and the things to fill them.
Every Christmas Eve, after the kids were in bed, my husband and I spent countless hours, sorting parts, finding screws, arguing about what goes where and why this or that should be done first. The simple things, like putting the legs on a toy piano and bench, I usually handled, while he tackled the more complicated ones, like riding toys….these were the worst.
Anything that had wheels with those dreadful little caps that cover the axles….and never hammer on straight, were a pain. The Chinese manufacturing companies got a royal chewing out every year at least once….not counting on birthdays. How our children slept through it, I’ll never know.
I’d finish up the simple items then help him try to decipher the more complicated ones. He was usually steaming by this time. “Maybe if you read the directions,” I’d say innocently. “you could figure it out.”
“Their directions don’t make any sense,” he’d yell at me, tossing a plastic part across the room. “Evidently, you have to be Chinese to understand them.”
“Just take a break,” I’d tell him, picking up the part and the directions, which he’d also tossed across the room. “We’ll figure it out.”
“There’s nothing to figure out,” he’d say….The thing is screwed up. Only the Chinese know how to put it together….and they probably planned it that way!”
After a few minutes of studying the directions….he was right, they made little sense….and a cup of coffee for him, he’d come back and study them with me. Then he’d spot it….”That’s what we did wrong,” he’d say….and I’m thinking, WE?
After removing a few screws, turning a few things around and getting the wheels on straight….and only a few tiny parts left over….hopefully, they were extras….we had a riding toy that was fully functioning, and was sure to thrill the heart of any child on Christmas morning….and we only had two more to do!
All of these memories warmed my heart and put me in mind of how we sometimes handle life’s problems the same way. We struggle and stress over what to do first and what is the meaning of this or that….When the directions are right there in God’s Word. We might glance at the Bible now and then, but toss it aside when the words make little sense, and try to figure it out ourselves….sometimes even blaming it on others for their wrong actions or bad advice.
Finally, after asking for God’s help, when we take the time to actually study the Bible and look for an answer, we spot it….exactly what we needed to hear, at exactly the right time. The solution becomes clear or we know that whatever the problem is, it will work out in God’s time and in His way. In the meantime, we can be fully functioning….with only a few left over parts maybe. We can rest assured that God will be there to help us through. Life does come with directions….we just have to take the time to read them.

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My name is Betty Fritz. I was born and raised in Texas but have resided in Elkhart, Indiana for the last 25 years. My husband is a Hoosier so that’s how we wound up here. We have two daughters and a son plus 6 grand kids…..3 boys and 3 girls. I retired last year after working for 24 years at Elkhart Child Development Center. I’ve been writing since a teenager and have taken several writing courses. I enjoy writing short stories. I wrote a book of poems, RHYMES OF THE TIMES, which was published a few years ago. I have written countless songs, a few for which demo recordings have been made. Recently I’ve been writing blogs..most of them about my faith and things the Lord has taught me in my Christian life over the last 51 years. My inspiration comes from my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and my desire to see that my grandchildren grow up in a Christian nation. My goal is to bring glory to Him and help others to see that there is POWER in the name of JESUS!


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