Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Manual for Life

I lay there awake, but not wanting to be awake. It must’ve been about 2am and I had one dead leg, one dead arm and a very full bladder. This, it would seem, is now a regular occurrence for me!

I climbed back into bed after emptying my bladder and waking my leg hoping to drift into a deep, fulfilling sleep. But then a thought took up residence in my head and I just couldn’t get it to move out. I fought it for about an hour before eventually my eyelids took over and I fell back to sleep.

Here's the thought: When I became pregnant I didn’t automatically gain the new knowledge and information I needed to understand what my body would go through and what was happening inside me. Nor did a super informative guidebook get posted through my letter box with everything I would ever possibly need to know. Instead, I had to choose to seek out this information, to buy or borrow books and learn what I needed to know for myself.

My body was created with the awesome ability to build and grow a baby and it can do it perfectly well whether I know what’s happening or not. But for me to take the best care of myself and the baby, both before and after birth, I need to get some relevant knowledge in me which will then be developed through experience. How I communicate with my baby and understand its needs. How I show it care and love as well as guidance and sometimes discipline.

When I was given my camera last year, I took the time to read the manual and learn what all the buttons and functions did. The camera was created to take photos, but to get the best out of it I had to read and learn how to work it properly. I had to learn how to create the results I wanted by changing the inputs and settings. I had to glean the knowledge from the manual and then learn by experience.

As a human being I am created to have a relationship with God. I have a natural longing and ability for this relationship. We all do. But for the relationship to work, and for me to be the best I can be in it, I need to get the relevant information and knowledge. I need to realize the transformations that need to be made both internally and externally. I need to understand how the things I input and set into my life have an impact on the results I see in my life. I need to know how to communicate with God. How to hear Him speak to me. How to recognise His care and love. How to be aware of His guidance and discipline. How to love and care for others. How to show others His hope and His peace.

I wasn’t born with all of this information already on board. But I have the best manual ever to learn it from. I have been fortunate to grow up in a Christian family and have many copies of the Bible in different versions. I have read some of it many times, but I know there are parts that I have never read (Zephaniah and Jude for example!) and other parts I have very limited or confused knowledge of.

For many years I have wanted to commit to reading the entire Bible…in one year. It’s never happened, and like I said in a previous post, I just ended up feeling guilty for being a failure!

This year I really want to commit to spending more time reading my Bible and gleaning that vital knowledge from it. It’s already day 6 of the New Year and I’m very behind if I want to complete it within the year! But rather than allowing myself to start along a downward spiral of comparison with my ideals, I have decided just to do what I can and pray that God will teach me what I need to know at the pace I need to know it.

So, it may take me 12, 18, 24 or more months but I am challenging myself to read the entire Bible, and hoping that some people will encourage me and keep me accountable!

There are other things I hope to achieve this year but I want to make sure that as I start 2010, as I continue to learn how to be a wife, sister, daughter, grand-daughter and now a mother, I have placed the most important relationship first.

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