Saturday morning, 8:00 a.m.
I eyeballed the hooks that needed to be on the wall in the bathroom. I realized that I had no more reason to put it off–I finally had the drywall anchors, the time, and the energy all at once. I silently calculated the time to put up the hooks because I had a lot of painting on the agenda for the day. I figured it would take about fifteen minutes. Easy-peasy.
That’s where everything went totally south, of course. Usually I take an artistic approach to home renovation projects. This involves a lot of eyeballing, approximating, and then looking at it through partially closed eyes for the next ten years. This does not bother me a bit. However, this particular set of hooks is on a board that has little holes in the back where the screws have to fit exactly. I took this into consideration. I got out all the tools and started working far more carefully than usual. It was painful. I made marks in exactly the right places. They were level, the right distance from each other, and perfect.
Except they weren’t. One screw slid right into its holder; the other one wouldn’t fit. I wiggled the board. I poked at the hole. Nothing. So I remeasured, and I was an eighth of an inch off, which doesn’t even count in my book. How is that not close enough? So I took the anchor and screw out and moved it over. But then it was too far the other direction. I measured again. I took both screws out, moved the whole business up a half-inch, and leveled everything again.
Somewhere in the middle I became a little bit desperate to finish before my husband came home and saw the mess. I don’t know why I didn’t want him to see it; the poor man is used to this. I thought about calling Jon. I thought about calling Jerry. But no, a grown woman should fix her own mess before she makes people drive over to fix it for her, so I kept going. And finally that stinking set of hooks slid right onto the screws, easy as pie. Hallelujah!
Whether we’re good at measuring for a project or terrible, the Bible has something to say about setting up our own moral measurements. God isn’t pleased with close enough. His standards don’t change based on our opinions or convenience. He calls us to His standards of measurement, which are exact. We can’t compare ourselves to other people and think, “Well, I’m doing better than Betty over there. Close enough.” It just doesn’t work that way.
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
“They will sing before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the people in his truth.” (Psalm 96:13)
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
When God comes to judge the earth, I want to make sure I’ve lived according to His measurements. And because none of us can ever live up to those standards ourselves, Jesus has become our righteousness for us. Phew! Now I can live in obedience, and Jesus will cover my mistakes when I fall short. Hallelujah again!