I had three picture frames to hang on the wall that had been sitting on the floor for weeks just staring at me. If it had been one picture, I would have busted out the hammer and nails that same day. But three gets complicated cause there’s math and measuring and numbers and stuff...
When I finally got to it, I spent 15 minutes just measuring the wall back and forth mapping out how to center the frames and space them equally apart. My 7th grade math teacher would have been ashamed.
Each frame had 2 hangers on the back so I measured from the ceiling to the hanger on each side to make sure the frame was level when it hung. Stepping back, the marks looked even so I hammered away and grabbed the first frame.
After several attempts to get both sides of the frame hooked onto the nails, (side note: can I just say how much I hate those little triangle hangers that always flatten when you try to slide them down on the nail? They literally hate me) the first frame was finally up!
I stepped back again to admire my work anddddddd FAIL. The frame was totally crooked. It had looked right when I was up close up, what the heck.
I sat there for a few minutes just staring at it trying to figure out what I had done wrong. I double checked my measurements from the ceiling and they were right. I measured from the floor and those measurements were perfect.
After a whole lot of confusion and frustration I finally figured out that it was the ceiling that was uneven! My base for measuring was wrong!
I also had more nail holes in the wall now, shh don't tell my husband.
The next frame had to be easier. This time I measured using the edge of the first frame and nailed in my holes. Again I stepped back and again the frame looked completely cockeyed.
I was ready to chuck the measuring tape and give it up at this point. Then I remembered.
We had a level.
Every handyman’s best friend. The tool that never lets you down. It will always measure straight.
I know, most of you are thinking “why didn’t you use just that in the first place?” Well, baby brain is why, okay? It’s a thing. Be nice.
As I easily hung the third frame nice and straight on the wall I couldn’t help but think about how much that whole debacle related to life.
We get so caught up in comparing ourselves to others around us. Just scrolling through our Facebook feed can bring up all sorts of insecurities. Like with parenting.
I call it "comparenting."
“Oh crap, that mom did crafts with her kids, has a fancy stroller AND gave them broccoli and hummus for lunch. I clearly am failing as a parent.”
But that’s like measuring from another crooked frame on the wall.
Who says that mom is “doing everything right?”
We compare our children to society’s standard of what they should be like. They need to be potty trained by 3 months and reading before kindergarten. They need to be popular and smart. They need to go to college so they can get a job so they can be rich and happy.
But who says our society’s rules are perfect? Who says the ceiling is straight?
Society throws all sorts of standards at us to measure ourselves up to, but every single one of them will fail us because ultimately we’re all crooked.
Great, so now what? We need a level.
A tool that will always measure straight in this crooked world. That will never fail us.
We have one; His name is Jesus.
In every possible way. He literally defined the concept of measurement.
I know you’re thinking: “ wow, well that’s a ridiculously high standard.” Yup, you’re right it is. One that we’ll never attain on this earth.
It may sound discouraging but the freeing reality that comes from looking at Jesus instead of others is that He knows every one of our imperfections and knows we’re going to fail, but yet He loves us even when we don’t hang straight.
We can’t earn His love and approval; He freely gives it, helps us mark new nail holes, and as we step back from the wall He opens our eyes to imperfections we didn’t know were there.
It’s humbling my friends. I’m constantly re-hanging the frames of my life. But God gives the help where we need it and the grace when we fail. And then He patches the holes we make in the wall behind us.
Try it! Get to know who Jesus is and measure up to Him! Don’t know where to start?
Try reading the book of Luke and you’ll be amazed at what you learn =)