As a child, my favorite task to do in the kitchen was to measure ingredients. I would carefully open the lowest drawer in the kitchen and find the olive-green measuring scoops. While George Strait played in the background, my mom would then help me get out the small, well-worn, white stepladder from behind the laundry room door. Barely reaching above the counter, I would “scoop” the sugar and flour and feel the warmth and inclusion of our kitchen on Dawn Street. Mom and I would work together and follow the directions to make my Nannie’s banana nut bread. This all came to mind when reading through the Bible recently and stumbling upon the book of Zechariah.
Zechariah 2:1-5 says, “Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.” While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’”
These verses hit me. I love to measure. I like to measure my success. I want to see the clear lines of accomplishments and pinpoint the specifics that can be celebrated. I know I am not alone in this. I often ask myself some of the following questions: Am I doing enough and is the impact large enough? Is the new sofa in my living room and framed picture Pinterest worthy? Does the chicken saltimbocca I just made look good enough to put on Instagram and will people ask for the recipe? Are my jeans “in?”
I wonder what my life would look like in a more real mode—one without walls and measurements. What if my daily testimony to my friends and community was lived without measure? What if people truly saw my life without walls? The real life of Reagan.
Imagine a life that would be honest and transparent. A beautiful and messy life where people could see my everyday shortcomings. A life that would encourage my peers to realize that they are not alone in their struggles—the same ones that I am experiencing—that we are in this together. I want people to see Jesus in me and for that to happen then the boundaries and walls will need to fall to the wayside. We must live our lives without measure. No walls. No filters. No measurements. All real. This is me—transparent and true to my identity in Christ.
May we rest in the peace and presence of Jesus Christ each day knowing that HE longs for me to measure HIS goodness in ME. So, as I smell the faint hint of banana bread cooking in my own home now, glance at the dust of sugar on the counter, and wash the measuring scoop—I remember and want to remind each of you to measure HIS goodness in your life--as raw, real, and messy as it is—measure it all because it is GOOD. Let’s live life together!
Written by Reagan Maldonado, East Texas ministry engagement coordinator for Buckner Children and Family Services.