Ron McClung

Decades ago, during the “golden age” of radio, when people gathered around their sets to listen to sporting events — much as they do now with television — a national radio network interviewed a well-known jockey. He was supposed to ride the favored horse in an important race, but the jockey had been injured.

The broadcast team gathered in his hospital room to interview him, but because he was known for having no filter on his vocabulary, the network gave him a script. It included the questions to be asked and the answers he should give, word for word.

At a crucial point in the interview, a reporter asked him what advice he would give the jockey who was to ride in his place. For some reason, the scripts fell on the floor, but the question had been asked. So, the jockey ad-libbed, including an inappropriate four-letter word. There was no “eight-second delay” to enable the engineers to bleep the offensive word, so it went out over the airwaves for all the world to hear.

The jockey had gone off-script.

Actually, a lot of life happens without a script. At this time of year, what script do squirrels follow when they begin to gather nuts for the winter? Who tells the birds to head south before the snow flies? Who nudges other animals to enter their dens or burrows and prepare for a long winter’s nap?

We might say they do it instinctively. It’s an innate script, written invisibly in their inner being. But there’s no script we can see.

The apostle Paul implied that God has a script, a blueprint, for our lives. He said, “I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care” (1 Corinthians 3:10 NIV). He later mentioned that “the quality of each person’s work” will be tested (3:13).

The Bible is the very best script for successful living. Let’s do our best to stay on script and build our lives with care.

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