Do you know the three most frightening words in the English language? “Some assembly required.” You order something online; a toy or a bicycle for your children. Or you go to a big box store to get a grill or piece of patio furniture.
When UPS brings it to your door or you find the item you’re looking for in the store, it’s not ready to go like you saw in the online catalog or the advertisement in Sunday’s paper. “Some assembly required,” the tag on the box says.
There are buckets of screws, connectors, rods and unidentifiable small pieces of plastic that you will never use no matter what the directions say. And for the next six weeks you attempt to put this thing together.
Some assembly required: This is true of the products you buy, your relationships, the children you are raising, and the person you are becoming. We are all works in progress, even as this relates to faith. The Apostle Paul said: “Continue to work out your salvation.” We have been given this wonderful gift of grace and salvation. We have come to understand God’s love and have answered a call to a life of faith. This gift is like getting a bicycle in a box or a swing set bound by straps and smothered in Styrofoam peanuts. It’s like possessing a new piece of patio furniture but it’s in a dozen pieces, the materials scattered across the yard.
You’ve got to work it out. You’ve got to put it all together. You can’t ride the bike if it stays in the box. You can’t play on the swing set if it remains disassembled. You can’t enjoy your furniture if you don’t connect the pieces. And faith will not be what it is intended to be—what God wants it to be in your life—if you don’t work it out, if you don’t open the box and put it together. Maybe faith has become such a burden for some of us because we’re lugging around on our backs the box full of assorted spiritual materials rather than putting it all together.
So pop the bands off the box that’s waiting for you in the garage. Put on your work gloves and break out the tool chest. Call your neighbor to lend a hand. Before you know it, all the pieces might just fall into place.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.