In the course of the workday, my co-workers and I scan documents to ourselves frequently. These documents are scanned through a copier machine then sent as an email attachment to the person who scanned it. 

Whenever we gain new employees, their names are added to the copier. Not too long ago, the employee we relied on to add people to the copier resigned and no one else knew how to do it. Upon realizing this issue, my manager decided that we could locate the manual and go from there. 

Happily, I took on the task. I really thought I could figure it out. How hard could it be to add someone to a copier machine, right? I found the appropriate page from the reference guide and was able to add the new employee’s name, but it didn’t show up in the scan-to list. I must’ve tried for half an hour, rereading and retrying. Nothing seemed to work. I gave up when my shift came to a close. Despite even reaching out to the former employee about the process, we couldn’t get it figured out.  

One day, I decided to give it another shot, only to find out from another employee that instead of adding the new employee to the copier, I changed everyone’s sender-address. Now, whenever existing employees would scan documents to themselves, the email would show that it was sent by the new employee. 

I know, it wasn’t the worst-case scenario, but a mistake, nonetheless, which needed to be corrected. (This story does have a happy ending.) Before my manager called the appropriate technician to help us, I had retraced my steps and changed the settings back to normal. 

When the technician arrived, I happened to be standing nearby. My manager asked me to watch him add a user to the copier so I could take down the information and put it in “layman’s terms,” she said.  The technician walked me step by step through the process of adding a user and let me run a test-scan. Everything was successful. 

This is how I view life. Here is life with all of its unforeseen wonders, circumstances, hills, valleys, mountain tops, challenges and victories. It’s a wonderful thing, but it’s a little too complicated to figure out on my own. When I say “figure out,” I mean to go through life’s journey joyfully, victoriously and graciously. Life’s journey can be seen as the copier/scanner. And I’m, well, I’m me…trying to figure it out. How to work the copier? I needed help.

I went to the manual first, but wasn’t successful. It’s OK. Not all manuals have the latest updates or make sense to everybody. Or, maybe I was working on three hours of sleep that day. But in life, the Bible is my manual. 

I first learned how to read by reading the Bible (King James Version). Up until the age of 11 or 12, I would have told you that I read the Bible a lot, could recite biblical passages and even write essays from the Bible, correlating different texts to each other and to life in general. 

However, at that age of 11 or 12, I realized that there was a huge part of the Bible of which I didn’t really understand its significance — the matter of the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the head of the Christian faith, of which I would have claimed myself to be a part; and yet, I didn’t know what it meant that “Jesus died for my sins.” 

Just like the copier experience, I was following the manual, but I needed additional direction to navigate through the manufacturer’s system. 

I remember one day asking my mom, “What does it mean, Jesus died for my sins?” My mom, like the technician, walked me step by step and unraveled the meaning of salvation to me. I began to understand that the Gospel preached by Jesus was that the world needed a savior and He came. 

Though God created the world in total goodness and intended only goodness for us, the human race disregarded His intentions and became oblivious of the good plan He had for us. We hurt each other, sometimes without even knowing or trying. We are flawed with imperfections. Still, there is a gracious God, (the manufacturer) who decided not to leave us stuck in a world without hope, without direction. 

He has given us manuals (Bibles) and technicians — those who have experienced his goodness and developed a personal relationship with him — that can help guide us in our walk-through life. When we grasp what the manufacturer’s instructions are, we can accomplish what the manufacturer intended for the product to do. 

When I understood the passion of the cross of Christ, I received my sight. Would you allow me to share with you what I saw, next month? In the meantime, here is a quote for you. “The Lord is good and does what is right. He shows sinners the right way to live” (Psalms 25:8, ERV). Quite frankly, that is why I love Him. 

 Precious Angel Kelly, a native of Rantoul, writes a Christian-based monthly column. She welcomes correspondence at apreciouschild2@gmail.com