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Dave Brisbin

Doing without Measuring

Anything that can’t be measured always looks the same.

Think on that for a second. All our minds really do is measure. Compare, contrast, create differences and distinctions. Without something to measure against, the measureless thing always looks the same: far out at sea—featureless water in all directions, cloudless sky, starfield. Always look the same.

God’s love has no degree. Can’t be measured by anything that can. Always looks the same to whomever is looking regardless of accomplishment. Knowing God’s nature and love is knowing that we can’t impress God with our accomplishments, can’t earn a place or a higher place, that each of us is God’s favorite and most beloved human because we’re here breathing and for no other reason. In a field of degreeless love, every point is mathematically dead center, and any other position is meaningless. Doesn’t exist.

But does that mean there is absolutely nothing to do once we realize our accomplishments don’t matter to God’s love? Absolutely not. Jesus’ Way, the only way to the experience of God’s love, is the hardest work you will ever do. But “doing” along Jesus’ way is of a different order: it also has no degree. We imagine going up to meet God somewhere on high, and we check our progress by measuring how far we’ve risen. But Jesus is showing us that we can’t go up to meet God because as long as we’re looking up, we’re measuring. If we don’t first go down from the ego’s imaginings of grandeur, we’ll never embrace the servanthood, humility, and vulnerability of the unassuming God Jesus personifies. This doing is an un-accomplishing, selling off our obsession with accomplishment until we can see a love that never measures a thing.

What we do along Jesus’ way—releasing, submitting, surrendering, trusting—is work that no one will ever see, congratulate, reward. It won’t matter. Once we stop measuring, the only reason to do anything is because it is our deepest purpose and pleasure to do so. When we can’t not do what God’s does all day long and twice on Sunday, we will at last know God and know what can’t be measured is why we’re here.


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