We measure “stuff” all day. We measure how long it will take to do something or to get somewhere. We measure ingredients, calories, productivity, how many steps we take in a day, fruit and vegetable servings, water intake, cups of coffee, hours of sleep. We measure a lot all day.
How do we measure those things? The clock tells us how long it takes to do something. Mileage gives us distance. Measuring cups and spoons help us gauge ingredients. We read labels to count calories. Our to-do lists tell us how much we got done..or didn’t. Pedometers quantify our steps. Pounds, ounces, cups, miles, inches, pieces, hours…we measure intake and output. We do a lot of counting and tracking.
So after we count and track all this “stuff,” how do we know if we’ve measured up? There are standards set to know if we’ve eaten the right amount of fruits and vegetables. We use the food chart to know if we’ve put enough of the right stuff in our bodies or if we should have grabbed an apple or chosen a side salad. And there are outcomes that indicate whether we’ve measured up; we feel good and have great energy or we we feel sick and tired.
Standards. Acceptable levels of quality or achievement; something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality. (Thank you again, Merriam-Webster.) That’s how we know we’ve measured up; when we’ve met the standard.
Standards are set for us by agencies or authorities; parents, employers, local, state, federal governments. We meet them or we don’t and experience the natural consequence of that.
We set our own standards, too. We choose how to think about things. We choose how we behave. We make decisions accordingly, and so define our lives.
Though I don’t know much about construction, I’m intrigued by the plumb line, a tool builders use to determine accuracy, test vertical alignment, examine whether something is in line with the “true.” Builders determine if it’s plumb, if the structure has integrity.
So, if I’m to measure my words, my actions, my moments, I can only do that by determining if they are in line with the true, my standard. When I know my standard, I know if I’m in alignment to it. I have a reference point that helps me to know how I’m doing, how I’m measuring up. If I am, like in a building project, I have integrity. If not, then I must make adjustments.
I am a building project in a sense. I’m building a life and I want it to be plumb.
Do you have a standard, a personal standard, by which you think and act, a basis for decisions?
Is your life plumb?