My coworker met me upon my arrival at the ranch with a dilemma, “Slick Willie has a light on in the dash.” I inquired, “What is the light telling you?” He responded, “I have no clue. It’s just a funky picture with a light behind it and I have no idea what it is a picture of.”
Rather than doing what we mechanics are often tempted to do (start replacing the most expensive parts first), I went to my library and pulled the service manual for the tractor with a light on, found the warning lights section in the table of contents, turned to the page, and shared with my coworker that the brake fluid was low.
I have heard the Bible described as being the believer’s service manual, as in the acronym, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, but I tend to side with Adam Hamilton, “It is neither basic nor simply instructions.”
Instead, God chose to give us His Word in the form of a story, and while I often wish for a more instructive type of manual, one that is maybe a little more definitive in say, how to properly conduct baptism, or how to understand the Trinity, this is the means by which He has revealed Himself to us.
Why? Why a story? Why not a brief but concise service manual with specifications and a troubleshooting guide for life as a disciple? I think there is something significant in a story, especially this one, but for now, I’ll turn off the mike (pun intended? of course).