March 24, 2010

Read the Manual

2010 1509 page7 capHEN I SAW HIM NEARLY 20 YEARS AGO, JOHN A. YOUNG WAS THE president and chief executive of Hewlett Packard Co., or “HP,” which was, and still is, one of the top computer companies in the world. He was in Washington, addressing federal technology experts, and asked what the three most important initials in computing happened to be.
No, Mr. Young said, they weren’t “IBM,” but rather, “RTM.” The audience chuckled appreciatively: they knew it stood for “read the manual.”
Having read more than my share of computer manuals in my life, I know they’re often not the easiest reading. But I also know that reading a computer manual can be key to figuring out how a piece of hardware or software works.
You know where I’m going: the One who made us gave us each a manual on how best to operate our lives and have the best possible outcome, regardless of the circumstances. It’s the Bible, and its message is timeless.
A little more than 100 years ago, an 82-year-old woman addressed the General Conference session held in Washington, D.C. As an eyewitness, W. A. Spicer wrote: “She came to the platform, on the last day of the session, to speak a . . . few words of good cheer and farewell, and then turned to the pulpit, where lay a Bible. She opened the book, and held it out with hands that trembled with age. And she said: ‘Brethren and sisters, I commend unto you this Book.’”*
That speaker—Ellen G. White—was stunningly correct: “this Book” is most commendable. Let’s all read it, and heed its teachings! 
Mark A. Kellner is news editor of the Adventist Review. This article was published March 25, 2010.