The Tape Measure

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Ephesians 3:18-19. Paul prays for the Ephesians that they “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

It makes me giggle. I don’t know if Paul recognized what he’d just written, or just wrote it as the Holy Spirit gave it to him and thought nothing of it, but basically, he tells them to know what surpasses knowledge, to understand what cannot be understood, to comprehend the incomprehensible, to know the breadth and length and height and depth of something that is immeasurable.

So imagine the cube that is the love of God. Go ahead, imagine it. Got it?

How far do tape measures go? Thirty feet? Thirty yards? I think it depends on whether you use a pink tape measure from a girl toolbox or one of those fat, contractor tape measures for measuring, you know, buildings. But imagine you’re holding the little tab end at the corner of the love of God, and you send a friend along the side of it with the tape measure. You feel a tug as they reach the end of the tape because it doesn’t quite reach.

That’s not immeasurable.

Immeasurable is when you yell to your friend as they reach the end, “can you see the other edge?” And they yell back, “no! You can’t even see it from here!” That’s immeasurable.

But pull out the tape measure anyway. If for no other reason than to delight when you reach the end of the tape and there’s still more to God. If just to giggle at the impossibility of ever comprehending the height and length and width and depth of His love. Paul, knowing it to be impossible, told the Ephesians to go ahead and try.

You will never encounter a more delightful futility. There is no better pursuit to utterly fail at. There is no better waste of an hour or a day or a life than holding up our little, pink tape measure to the enormous love of God. Dare I say, that is the only use of a life that is not a waste at all.

This is, after all, what eternity is for.