March 24, 2016
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While visiting the Kennedy Space Center in Florida I viewed, under protective glass, an emergency manual called the CSM RESCUE BOOK (CSM stands for Command/Service Module – the main part of the space ship). The manual was on the ill fated Apollo 13 mission which was to take three astronauts to the moon: Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise. An explosion on board their spacecraft on the way to the moon nearly cost them their lives. Through the creative, imaginative work of the three and many at mission control back on earth they were able to jimmy rig things with stuff they had on board to be able to swing around the far side of the moon, traveling further from earth than any human, and make it safely back to earth.
I stood before the display at the Kennedy Space Center and looked closely at the manual, autographed by Jim Lovell. I could only imagine how quickly after the malfunction and how frequently through the ordeal Lovell and his crew referred to and studied the very manual I was viewing.
When things go wrong it’s good to have instructions on how to right the wrong or at least cope with it. It’s even good to check the instructions when things are going well so they keep going well!
I firmly believe, as do countless others, that the Bible is such a manual for living this life and for being able to move into the next life with God. God made us, and we come with His
operator’s manual. Because He’s put each of us in charge of our own lives we’re to use the manual on ourselves!
Here’s how I seek to apply this manual to my own life. I have the goal of reading a small portion from the Bible every morning, while I have my coffee and before my mind gets cluttered with a hundred other things. I ask myself, “Now, why would the Lord have me reading this today?” Sometimes I have an insight and sometimes I don’t, but all in all, the cumulative effect is very good. I also have to regularly remind myself that I haven’t really learned something I’ve read in the Bible until I’ve learned to apply it!
The Apollo 13 astronauts needed their rescue book to survive the mission. I also need my Rescue Book to survive this journey of life!
“I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.” (Psalm 119:93)