More Than Just A Measuring Stick

My dad is a logger. We (kids) would help him in the woods over the summer when we were growing up. Most of the time I worked the Loading Zone, trimming up trees as the skidder would drag them in. Now in the logging business, you want to separate your trees by loads. The good, big and straight ones you can cut a length of log off of the base and get a better price when selling them (a little over simplified, but bear with me). Those logs had to be a certain length for the wood yards to accept them. Because of that, when working the Loading Zone, the trimmer or de-limbing man usually had a measuring stick. That stick was marked, and as those logs came in, he would measure the cut of log with that stick. If you knew a log was coming into the Zone, you would stand there at attention with that stick propped with one end on the ground and the other on your shoulder, like a quarterstaff at rest or your best friend. As a kid, back then, working for my dad, that stick killed a million deadly imaginary ninjas and slew dragons by the dozens. So that stick became more than just a way to measure a cut of log. It became a way to measure the cut of a man. The demons that I faced back then were all imaginary and since then I have come to learn the real ones all too well. But I can still see my dad holding that stick and standing taller than any man I have ever known. During all that time that stick was just a stick. It wouldn’t measure anything unless you gave it a value first. If it was dropped in a pile of them, all it would be was another stick. If you broke it, you went out and cut another. The stick itself was ordinary and didn’t mean anything unless you assigned it a value first. The funny thing about it is this; once you gave it a value, you had to use it to measure with, and when you did that you had to tote it over to that log. This is what most Christians forget. As you hold that stick waiting on the log to come in and getting ready to measure, it has already started measuring. Standing there holding that stick, it is measuring you. How well do you measure up against it? This is the meaning of that oft misquoted Bible verse;

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Matt 7:1-5 (KJV)

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