My wife came up the wonderful idea of building a patio in the back of our house with individual pavers. You cannot know how much joy this has brought me trying to make sure that every single brick, all tumbled so they are imperfect to begin with, fit perfectly together and make a flat, level surface for us to stand on. To do so, for every single brick we lay we have to make sure it is level. We have a nice little level that we use for the job, and without it I'd be dead in the water.
It has amazed me how often I think I have a brick perfect, and it's completely off. The problem is my view is completely narrowed, I'm on my knees staring at one brick, I can't see the whole picture, so in my mind that brick is perfect. But when I put the level on it, not even close. I thought this may happen once in a while, but it's more like 75% of the time.
That's what the level is for. Without some sort of level, all we're doing is guessing based on the tiny narrow view in front of us. In life, that is what's happening way too often. The story of the rich young ruler who came talking to Jesus comes to mind. He asks what he needs for eternal life and tells Jesus he has done everything in his narrow view of life. I even love how he calls Jesus good, to which Jesus asks, "Why do you call me good?" Jesus knows this young man's view of good is skewed, much like all of ours. He's not balancing it against the level, the ruler, the Scriptures. He's just going by what's in front of him. I hear it all the time, "I'm good, I'm not as bad as-". If I want my bricks to be level, I don't look at the wonkiest, most crooked one and go, "This one is better than that, so it's okay." I get a level and make sure it's as close to perfectly level as possible.
Over the next months at Fire & Water the sr. highs are going to be looking at the Bible, what it means, how to read it, how to use it as a level in our lives, how to make sure that God's Word is real and alive in us. It's the best spiritual level we have, II Timothy 3 tells of all it can do, teaching us what is true, helping us see what's wrong in our lives, and "it straightens us out and helps us do what is right" (II Tim. 3:16b, LB). If you can make it, we hope you can come on out and grow with us.