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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)

TITLE: Measure Mania
By Myrna Noyes


What do you weigh? How tall are you? How long have you worked here?

"Measure up" seems to be one of mankind's main mottoes.

From a toddler's "I'm this many," as she holds up two fingers, to a mathematician's "pi equals 3.141592653589793238462643383...," we have a mania for measuring things.

So we earnestly eye our rulers, yardsticks, thermometers, barometers, speedometers, metronomes, rain gauges and gas gauges, timepieces, scales and scoops.

We talk of inches, feet, yards, miles, meters and liters, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years. We reference radii, diameter, circumference, teaspoons and tablespoons, ounces, cups, pints, quarts, gallons, pounds, and acres. Some intelligent few even mention rods, spans, furlongs, parsecs and light-years, volume, and bushels.

Many of us can rattle off our personal numbers: height and weight; collar, shoe and ring sizes, blood pressure and cholesterol, daily calories and carbs, bust or chest size, bank balance, yearly salary or wages. We are measured "within an inch of our lives."

Numbers and more numbers--"to infinity and beyond"! There's no end in sight!

Progress in school is rated by grades, scholarships, graduations. Job success is noted with promotions, praise, and raises. We meticulously mark other milestones such as births, weddings, anniversaries.

We measure things when we cook, sew, plant, build, and play the piano. We even measure weather and other acts of nature--rain and snowfall, temperature and wind chill, a tornado's destructiveness, an earthquake's strength, how many sunny days we have in a row. We live in a compulsive counter's and a measuring maniac's paradise!

Even the Apostle John recounts in Revelation how while in vision he "was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, 'Go measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there." Later he tells us, "The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its wall...He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick..."

Ignorant people try to measure their worth in the world by the letters and titles attached to their name, by the dollar amount of their investments and bank accounts, and by the accolades and honors they receive from others.

Sadly, some of us even try to evaluate our spirituality by how many Scripture verses we've memorized, weeks we've attended church, times we've tithed, Bible books studied, or daily devotionals read.

But wait! STOP! Put down the plumb line, the T-square, and the scales.

What about the things that can't be measured? What do we do with them?

Isaiah asks, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?"

God Himself questions Job: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me if you understand, who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?...Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb...when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place , when I said, "This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt:...Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell Me if you know all this."

Consider the Universe's vastness, a parent's immense love for a child, the incredible value of a single soul, the "ripple effect" of an act of kindness, the forbidding Great Abyss of Revelation, our deep joy in a loved one's salvation, Creation's astounding beauty, the terrible extent of evil, God's limitless love and mercy, the pain of loss, eternity's "everlastingness," and the very Being of God.

How can we definitively tell when we are "filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" or when we have attained "to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ"? Where is the mark showing we are filled to the brim with Him?

I have concluded with the Psalmist that my answer before God will be, "My mouth will tell of Your righteousness, of Your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim Your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone."

Scripture texts in order: Revelation 11:1, 21:15-17; Isaiah 40:12; Job 38:4,5,8,10,11; Ephesians 3:19, 4:13; Psalm 71:15,16

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This article has been read 596 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Carr 01/19/13
This is a very profound and insightful article and I enjoyed it very much. I like the way you have sorted out what is really important in terms of measurement and what is immeasurable. Well done.
Lynda Lee Schab 01/20/13
The title made me click and the article kept me reading. Loved this! Loved the references and the way you wrapped it up. This would make a wonderful devotional article for a magazine. Well done! :-)
Allison Egley 01/20/13
I like this. Yes, we may be "obsessed" with measurements, but I like the reminder of the things that can't be measured as well. Nice job. Oh, and a funny thing... Just today at lunch, my brother and I were trying to figure out Pi past 3.14159... :)
Lillian Rhoades 01/20/13
In teen vernacular, this article was REALLY put together. So well crafted. You took the theme and made it live.

I love how you developed each segment and then deftly transitioned to the devotional.

Nothing wrong with your "write brain."
Margaret Kearley 01/21/13
This was excellent and wonderful to read. Your descriptions of the multiple measurements we live by is staggering - your explanations of the most precious things, beyond measure, is thrilling. Thank you so much for this.
C D Swanson 01/22/13
Delightful read! God bless~
Loren T. Lowery01/23/13
My goodness, this is so well developed - scholarly, in fact. It is full of conviction and assuredness backed up by truths found in the Scriptures and discerned by a heart/soul knowing God's plan. Wonderful job, Myrna!
Bea Edwards 01/23/13
Hmmm lots to chew on here, and it tastes very good-well done!
Loren T. Lowery01/24/13
Doing the Happy Dance for you, Myrna. Well done and congratulations on our placing. I sorta knew it was a winner when I first read it. : )
Margaret Kearley 01/24/13
Many congratulations Myrna and very well deserved for this wonderful piece.
Carolyn Ancell01/24/13
Beautiful in so many ways. A well-deserved win. And thank you for a wonderful read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/13
You did an outstanding job on this piece. Congratulations!
Laura Hawbaker01/24/13
Very well written. Congratulatons!
Lillian Rhoades 01/24/13
See, the judges agreed with me.:-) Congratulations!
Beth LaBuff 01/24/13
Myrna, I LOVE how you begin, the all-inclusive measuring instruments. AND then you get to the heart of your message and you made my heart soar. I LOVE the verses from Job that you quoted and your mention of John in the book of Revelation inspires awe. Excellent work!!! Super congrats on your ribbon and EC!
C D Swanson 01/25/13
Congrats. God bless~
Ellen Carr 01/26/13
Congratulations on your 3rd placing which was well-deserved!