At the house where I grew up, there was a place on a wall that had some marks. The marks were where I would measure my height to see if I was over six feet tall yet.
In seventh grade I was about four feet eleven inches tall. There were only a couple guys shorter than I was. In fact, there were not many girls shorter than I was. But my mom and dad assured me that I would hit a growth spurt and would probably make it to six foot tall since my Grandpa Dickerson was over the magic six foot mark. I chose to ignore the fact that my Grandma Dickerson was more like five feet tall and that my dad was only five-six.
By eighth grade I had only crept up an inch or two and my goals began to change. I just wanted to be taller than my dad. I measured myself a lot but my height wouldn’t change no matter how much measuring I did.
I couldn’t get it through my head that if I wasn’t happy with how tall I was that I should stop measuring myself by my height. Finally, in the summer after eighth grade something happened. I wore shorts a lot because my pants weren’t ever long enough. I didn’t grow just a little but by the time wrestling season arrived I was over five-eight. I was growing straight up. Although my height was changing almost every day my weight crept up slowly. I wrestled at a mere one hundred five pounds and never had to worry about making weight.
It was exciting that I was not going to be a little shrimp anymore and it appeared that my dream of being six foot tall was in the bag.
That dream never came to pass. I only grew to be a fraction about five-ten. I was a good four inches taller than my dad but I never met my goal. I still measured and hoped for a little more but was always disappointed. I would like to say that I don’t care how tall I am anymore but there are still times I wish I was taller.
I have learned that there are other ways I don’t measure up in my life. Kindness, intelligence, talent, success, being a husband and father, being a friend, being a man of God…if I sit down and evaluate these things I come up short. This can be really depressing and it has been for me.
Looking into the mirror has shown me a man that doesn’t measure up. I have given up many times. For every man and every woman there are many decisive moments. Many of those moments come for me when I see that I am less than I want to be. The standards I have for myself are beyond what I can meet. God wants me to get to this place. He doesn’t want me to throw in the towel when I realize the impossibility of me meeting those standards. I can’t do it but that doesn’t me it can’t be done.
Ephesians 4:13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
It takes unity. One person can’t accomplish unity. One must reach out to another to meet this goal. I will never measure up unless I do so. I must find unity with others and I must find unity with God. I won’t mature on my own. I can only grow older.
Ephesians 4:14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Isn’t this what measuring up is all about? I can be stable and stand firm. I can see the truth in the midst of lies. I can speak the truth in love and be like Christ? How can I do any better than that? The best part is that God’s Word, the Truth, clearly states that this state of being can be attained. It isn’t some pie-in-the-sky ideal that is out of reach and beyond reality.
I can change and the change can start right this second. This is the way I want to grow. All of us can do this whether we are six-foot tall or not.