Measuring Your Life
Reflections on Ezekiel 2:1-5
By Pastor Gordon Smith
Lead Pastor, La Junta Nazarene
When I was a kid, I often got grounded for bad grades and thus I was often sent to my room for long periods of time. Instead of studying, like I should have, I created this intricate baseball league that was ten teams deep. My league was filled with stats for every player, trade deadlines, and it even consisted of a minor league system! For as long as I can remember I’ve loved pouring over stats. I still do. I love looking at the plus-minus-ratio regarding NBA players, how many minutes they played, rebound averages, and who is leading the league in assists. I love having a pragmatic grid in which to measure all the players.
As I get older I have a love-hate relationship with stats. Unfortunately, I track stats in order to measure my life, and compare myself with others to see how valuable I am in the world’s eyes. I don’t like it that I do that, but at times I do. All of us seek some sense of measurement to know where we stand in comparison to others. So we play the percentages, and measure our lives, because we want to validate that we are “successful” and worth something. From test scores to financial portfolios, all of us are obsessed with results and statistics.
It’s strange for me to hear God tell Ezekiel to go and speak to a rebellious people “whether they hear or refuse to hear.” Ezekiel will not be measured by results, but by whether or not he said what God told him to say! He will not be judged by how many kids raise their hands at VBS, he will not be measured by how many repent instead of resist, and he will not be judged by who does or does not respond. He will be measured by whether or not he was faithful to do what God asked him to do, no matter the results. God is not a pragmatist!
Perhaps it would be good for all of us to fall on our knees in the presence of God, just as Ezekiel did, that we might be measured by grace instead of results. It is actually at the cross, where Jesus died, that I found out just how valuable I am. It had nothing to do with my results.