In Accordance

Over the weekend, we collected the new car, a white Nissan Sunny which I now have the privilege of driving every day.
This evening over Alpha dinner in church, I was having a discussion with elder R (another Christian geek) about a particular Bible software program for Macintosh which he highly recommended, called Accordance. I had checked out the website and was so impressed with its features, expandability and ease of use, that I told him I wished I knew Hebrew and Greek as well, just to make full use of the software.
Of course when I did my research on Accordance I warned myself not to get carried away with the technology and the process, neglecting the true substance of the Message. But this evening a message confirmed it.
Nicky Gumbel’s video talk this evening was about reading the Bible. He told us the story of how difficult it was to get Bibles into Russia (it was illegal). Then he used another analogy which spoke right out to me.
He said something along the lines of, Say you have a new car. A white Nissan. And the car arrives and you’re all excited. You get into the car and you see the Nissan Manual! You read the Manual. You start memorising bits of it by pasting them over your shaving mirror. You look for others just like you, so you can form a Nissan Club. You even plan to read the manual in the original Japanese!
But the key purpose of reading the Manual is so you can learn how to drive the car. Just as the purpose of reading the Bible is to apply its teachings to your life. [This is the point where I make the obvious pun about the ‘Purpose-Driven Life’.]
Oof. A white Nissan – that jolted me all right. What a timely reminder not to get carried away with the process. Because it is vintage Vanessa Tan.
This is the person who would know every online legal resource in the UK and could dig out reports that other students would never be able to find. The person who knew how to use every kind of software and produced the most well-designed lecture notes, which others would borrow to photocopy. Yet at the end of the day, others less IT-literate would score higher marks because they answered the questions better (I didn’t realise it at the time).
This is the person who spent a small fortune on home studio equipment, learning how to use the software, even starting a Music blog – only to end up stalling and not producing anything new for weeks (I didn’t realise it at the time but towards the end, reality dawned on me).
God knows me pretty well and even though I caught myself a number of times getting too involved in technology for technology’s sake, He probably thought He should just make sure I got the message loud and clear this time. I didn’t get the feeling I was not supposed to get the software – in fact I had a slight feeling of encouragement. Just that I shouldn’t get carried away with it and ignore the true meaning of His Word. Amen.


  1. james

    Technology is great. I cannot imagine how I can do without email and cheap long distance. However, it is only a mean. It is how we can use technology to serve the One who gave us a purpose to live.

  2. Queenie

    Ah Vannie…
    Twas an arrow that God’s angels drew and sent right on target your way…
    well, not a bad thing to know all the tech and ins and outs so well — after all, quite a lot of us look to u for consulting expertise in tech and IP (yes, I am eternally grateful for your loan of leccher notes and no, don’t think I did better than u 🙂
    Still waiting for that song.
    Oh! I watched Cafe Lumiere (Sgpfilmfest film) last night and one scene had the VANTAN Paperhouse building in it. 🙂
    Miss ya.

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