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On the Level

I used to love this joke:

Child: My dad is always on the level.

Adult: Why’s that?

Child: Because his bubble is always in the middle.

Secretly, I still love it – I guess I’m just a sucker for pun jokes. But what level are we on? Yes, we’re at Level 3 but what level are we on?

I’m back to work this week and it is interesting to observe how people have been responding to being locked down. There is a level of latent fear. There are some people who don’t want to go back into the world because of a fear of the virus – a sort of agoraphobia.

Others, are not concerned about the virus they are concerned about family who are yet to have health issues diagnosed or family whose jobs are now uncertain and there is still a mortgage to pay.

Some are relaxed and calm, but it is true that everyone is in the process of adjusting.

We are adjusting our vision of what the world should be and what it is. Some call this the division between perception and reality. Years ago, I taught Outdoor Education. I would teach students how to roll a kayak and kayak in the surf. We would end with a camp at the heads of Lyttleton Harbour, setting off from Sumner and paddling around to Little Port Cooper where we would camp and do various kayaking activities. This was a challenge for some, and not so much for others depending on their skill level. However, if there was a 3 metre swell running it changed the proportion of students who were challenged and those who were relaxed significantly.

The skill level remained the same, but the conditions changed. With the changing conditions the perception of risk changed. One great activity in Outdoor Education is to harness people to a rope and challenge them to climb a tree or walk a wire anywhere from half a metre to 4 metres off the ground. The skill of walking on a wire at half a metre is exactly the same as walking it at 4 metres off the ground, but the perception is completely different. The risk is mitigated, but the brain keeps screaming at us – ‘this is wrong – let me down! SLOWLY!!’

The Apostle Paul lived in unprecedented times, a time when the world was being turned upside down (at least his world if not the New Testament world of Greek, Roman & Jew). He wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:54 ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ – a reference back to Isaiah 25:8 I’d encourage you to read Isaiah 25, it is a powerful chapter.

Christ changed the level, Christ changed our perception and our risk – there is no sting with death and as Paul concludes that chapter in v 58

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”

Let nothing move you – stand firm – be aware of the perception and the reality, but even in the face of the worst reality we can imagine, death – still there is no sting. Christ victorious.

Grow in grace,


Previous Blogs

The News... : Warren, 1st July 2020
Shhh - Listen : Warren, 19th June 2020
Relief? : Warren, 11th June 2020
On the Cusp : Warren, 4th June 2020
In the Beginning... : Warren, 28th May 2020
Seasons : Warren, 21st May 2020
Aroha|Love : Warren, 14th May 2020
How is your mind? : Warren, 7th May 2020
On the Level : Warren, 1st May 2020
Signs : Warren, 24th April 2020
Whakaaria Mai : Warren, 15th April 2020
Essential Worker or Not? : Warren, 8th April 2020
Rumours : Warren, 1st April March 2020
What Would Jesus Do? : Warren, 25 March 2020