My son overheard me asking my husband if we had enough gas to get to the zoo in Ostrava. So the whole drive he sat in the backseat, stressing about getting there on a low tank of gas and finally asked, “How many inches is it to Ostrava?”
I kept my snort to a quiet minimum and told him he could convert kilometers to inches when we got home. Then I added, “It’s a LOT.”
Why is it funny? Because it’s ridiculous to measure something so far with such tiny measurements. But he’s six years old. Kilometers (because we live in Europe) mean nothing to him. He’s little and little inches make sense.
But isn’t that exactly what we do? We view our life and our circumstances with our little measurements.
“How much longer do I have to put up with this?” “Our family was sick for three weeks in a row!”
“Only two months until Christmas – I’ll never have the shopping done by then.”
“Only three people responded to my invitation.”
And how does our Father measure? The distance from star to star, eternity. And in the same way as measuring 36 kilometers with inches, it’s ridiculous to measure our lives, our circumstances, without using eternal measurements. How much less complicated would it be (although mind-blowing)(which is actually a good, fun thing) for my son to use kilometers? It takes no genius to see that the less math we have to use, the easier and simpler the issue.
Yet why does using kilometers take less math? Because the distance to the zoo is already measured in kilometers, not inches. And our lives are already measured, originally conceived and created on the eternal level.
When we try to convert our issues into minutes, days, years – numbers – we end up with bloated perspective (like one million, four hundred and seventy two thousand, three hundred and twenty two inches to the zoo). This translates into impatience, stress, worry, and depression.
We must view life in the light of eternity and measure our days with eternal measurements. “Why has God allowed this issue in my life?” “What is God trying to teach me?” “What is the important thing I need to focus on right now?” “These people in my life were hand-picked by God for me to encourage and minister to; how can I do that?” These are not the ridiculous questions. These questions measure in God’s kilometers.
by Andra (I Need a Napkin)
Photo by Claire PattyLeave a Comment
Marina Bromley says
So Very true!! A really good post! Thanks!
i’ve been thinking about this a LOT lately- thank you for saying it so well! i feel like i’m often faced with the question of ‘why does God allow this pain in my life’ from women in our community, and this is at least a part of the True answer. this life is an inch on His measurement- the distance of eternity is so much greater than the struggle (even the amazingly tragic ones) we face today. God sees it from His side of the expanse & knows how this inch serves the full distance. it doesn’t take away the hurt, but it puts it into the Light.
Andra Loy says
Yes, rachelb, thanks for your beautiful thoughts on this – it reminds me of II Corinthians 4:17-18. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Delonna @ Chick Flick Diva says
Cool analogy – thank tou for posting.
Ah, I love how wise kids can be. Thank you for sharing this challenge.
Andra Loy says
Oh, I learn so much from my kids (when I really slow down and pay attention)!
We must have eternity in our focus, not just the events that mark our days and weeks. God desires to have His Church built up for His glory. These “happenstances” give us opportunities to grow in grace and become transformed into His image. When we become overcomers in life, we are able to be the living stones for His Church and reflect His glory. Such a wonderful message of how life is meant to be lived with an eternal perspective.
I think when we are counting and measuring…especially time during a trial…It makes it last just SO much longer.
Andra Loy says
Another good reason not to use our inches! Thanks for adding this – I didn’t even think about that!
Zion Inspires says
Thanks for this post, very well written and God-inspired for someone like me today. The joys of being a mother constantly puts me on the altar of sacrifice for my family,I speak the word,I pray fervently, I care for that child that needs a mother’s love more than anything else,but I often find myself down,and feeling that I’m almost achieving a goal yet so far away. He spoke to me softly,”it is impossible for the child of this tears to go astray…I will give you strength for the journey and secure the destination…my grace is sufficient”. This is where I am and you have put it beautifully in this post, the only way is to keep lifting our eyes to the Maker of all the mountains we can’t climb…He is near to the broken and contrite spirit…a bruised reed He will not break IJN. Many blessings.
Andra Loy says
“the Maker of all the mountains we can’t climb” – I LOVE that! Glad God is speaking to us through one another!
Measuring in Inches. | Righteous Tree says
[…] Read the full article comments here. […]
To Ponder and Treasure | I Need a Napkin says
[…] opened up something new about God, which turned into a big treasuring. (You can read about it here on December 4th.) So I am getting a window seat on this train, training (unavoidable pun, sorry) […]
Beth Williams says
We shouldn’t measure our lives in inches, feet, etc. We should look to the light of eternity. Within each trial there maybe something to be gleaned–patience, perseverance.
Elizabeth Anne May says
I love your perspective! I can so easily get caught up in measurements and minutiae. When I’m pursuing a goal, it can be so overwhelming to look at the end point from where I am — I tend to measure how far/long it will take to get there. When I’m tethered in my faith life and letting God lead, I can finally let the yard stick fall to the wayside.