Plumb Line

I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumbline.
But hail will sweep away
the hiding place of lies,
and water will overflow the shelter. – Isaiah 28:17 (CEB)

For Mother’s Day, Dave and the boys built me a she-shed.  They have finished the hard work of building.  Now it’s my turn to paint and finish the inside.  Today’s project was putting in some small shelves between the studs.

I measured and cut the 2×4’s to fit in the space.  I fastened one side of the shelf and then used the level as I screwed in the other side. This is where I encountered my quandary.

Do I make the shelf level,
do I make the shelf level to the frame, or
do I set them perpendicular to the studs?

The level is important for me because I cannot. stand. things. to. be. unlevel.  Look at these pictures.  I measured several times and used the laser level to mark the holes.  Can you see that the middle picture is slightly higher. And they never hang straight. Why did I make this a triptych?  It’s like I never met myself.

**Important Disclaimer** I am not criticizing my husband’s building skills.  The she-shed is awesome!  I love it!  As he said, it’s a labor of love not expert carpentry.  Actually, it’s more about the ground because everything was almost exactly the same number of degrees off.  And did you see the pictures I hung?

So, I decided to make the shelves level with the frame.  That way the lines would be parallel.  After all, it’s all relative.

Which is what made me think about what the prophets said about the plumb line.  We use moral relativism when measuring ourselves.  But it’s not about what other people do or don’t do – it’s about who God is and is not.

When I set my measure based on others or the worlds standards, I might look straight but I’m always going to be a little bit off the plumb line. Click To Tweet

When I set my measure based on others or the worlds standards, I might look straight but I’m always going to be a little bit off the plumb line.  For example, how we spend money.  I’ve written before about my struggle with money. This is an area where I definitely set my plumb line with a comparison to others rather than God’s generosity. And of course, there are other areas of my life I do this as well (I don’t have as many clothes as others, so…).

I don’t have any sage wisdom as to how we always allow God to be our plumb line. I guess it’s just trying to continually be aware of when I set my level against something that’s not straight to begin with.  And praying that God opens makes it just as obvious (and bothersome) as the pictures I can’t keep straight in my dining room.


I hope you consider checking out my new book:

Prayers for the People: Scripturally Based Prayers for WorshipPrayers for the People is a collection of prayers for worship. These prayers offer the worshipping community fresh perspectives for praying the words of Scripture, using current language and references. Cross-referenced to the Revised Common Lectionary, pastors seeking to lead their people in prayer have found a relevant and beautiful source for worship planning.

Related posts

2 Thoughts to “Plumb Line”

  1. Glenn Sheridan

    It’s sometimes so hard to say, “close enough.”

    1. lifeinthelabyrinth

      I agree.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.