It’s a simple device with origins dating back at least to the time of ancient Egypt. It’s an instrument used in construction and building, by carpenters, surveyors, engineers, stonemasons and bricklayers. It serves as a guide, a standard, a place to start from which the rest of the project stems. It’s purpose is to indicate whether a surface is precisely vertical (plumb) or horizontal (level).
It was my dad’s companion whenever he attempted household projects. I remember the time we wallpapered the bedroom. As the impatient person I am, I just wanted to slap on the wallpaper paste, judge where to start with my eyes and start hanging! But dad advised our eyes can deceive us and emphasized the importance of preparation, stressing that it was crucial for the first piece to be hung with precision along a perfectly straight (plumb) line, for all the remaining pieces would follow that line. It would determine the outcome of the entire project.
Dad referred to this tool simply as a level, but I recently came to discover it is also known as a ‘spirit level’. And it got me thinking, do I have one? A ‘spirit-ual’ level, that is. What instrument do I use as my guide, my standard before I jump into a project, belief, decision?
Our culture encourages self-determination: hang your wallpaper anyway you want - it’s your right! It offers trends: try it this way, now this way. It urges following those it holds in high esteem: follow this ‘expert’s’ method or this famous person’s preference.
Do I align my life’s wallpaper in these ways? Are these suggestions dependable? How do I know if I’m starting out level? What will be the consequences if I’m not? How will it turn out in the end?
There’s only one way to ensure a successful design for life and that is to depend solely on God’s Word, His Son and His Spirit as our spirit level. We don’t have to figure out life for ourselves, or live by trial and error, or follow others who don’t know anymore than we. Nor do we need to live in fear of failure. Our loving Lord has provided all the tools we need for right living. Our guide is His Word and our standard is His Son. He is our foundation, our level cornerstone:
“Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
As long as we align our ‘spirit level’ with Our God and His Will, our ‘life’ project is secure and will end in something more beautiful than we can imagine.