How many of you are ouido? (pronounced “widow”) Musicians know what the term is, but for civilians it is simply “let’s play it by ear.” I believe it’s a Spanish word which means ear. (oido). Hence, someone who has the ear can play the piano or any musical instrument without reading the notes, just listen to the song couple of times and once you get the hang of it, you can play the song with ease.
I am one musically and otherwise. When I buy something that requires assembly, I seldom read the instruction manual, I look at the picture of the product and I just visualize it in my head and I start the trial and error process. Can you relate? But sometimes not reading the instruction manual can be a disaster, and the amount of time trying to rectify the problem is as painful as reading the instructions right away. There’d be damage to the item, wasted time, frustration and stress. Sometimes, a manual is helpful in more ways than one.
Have you heard people say “I wish life had an instruction manual?” Or parents say “I wish raising kids had an instruction manual? ” or ” I wish life had a GPS.”
I’d say stop wishing because actually, life comes with an instruction manual and a GPS.
Exodus 20:1-17 , Deuteronomy 5:1-21
God laid out the basic foundation of how we should live as humans, regardless of religious affiliation. These were not given to animals and unless you are one, obviously the commandments don’t apply to you.
And God spoke all these words, saying,
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
1.You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
3.You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
5.Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
7.You shall not commit adultery.
6.You shall not murder.
8.You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Bible is rich in instructions on everything.-love, marriage, sex,politics, parenting,finances,health,work,relationships, friendship, time management,etc.
I am not going to expound on all those areas to prove myself, but I just wanted to remind everyone (and myself) that yes, there is a user manual in life. Reading the bible it is one thing, following it’s instructions is another thing. And I don’t believe that we can be ouido in life. We can’t just play it by ear and hope that the end- result will be favorable and good.
In closing, I am reminded of a book that I enjoyed so much in high school. I can’t recall the title but it was a book with multiple endings. You start reading the book and a page will ask you to decide the fate of the character.” Shall the character go deep into the woods or return home and watch TV”. I liked it a lot because if I didn’t like the ending I can always go back to the “crossroad” page and choose another route. Pretty exciting.
Unfortunately, life isn’t like that. You choose not to read the instruction manual and you make a mess-it usually is irreversible. Just like any user manual, it takes patience and understanding, a lot of page flipping, absent minded browsing temptation to skip etc. We might require help from another person to figure it out but it’s all worth it in the end.
So try not to get lost or mess up a project, read your instruction manual.
Thanks for reading.:)
*pictures courtesy of google