For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
I guess I got in the wrong line. I don’t know if there are lines in heaven or not but if there are…I may have missed one or two. If there is a line for being tall, missed it. If there is a line for being skinny, missed that one too. Oh, the line for hair, missed it again. Oh well, I am who I am and probably in a different world I would be alright with at least some of it. But it seems we live in a world where we are constantly being reminded that we always come up…a little short (pun fully intended).
And speaking of short, the Air Force had this unusual way of reminding you that you weren’t tall. Now, first, you need to know I really, really enjoyed my time in the Air Force. Once you made it past basic training, in many ways it was like working for any other first-class organization. Now granted, we were still in the warrior business, but Basic Military Training wasn’t the real Air Force…thankfully.
You see, in Basic, we marched where we went. I’m sure the Army and Marines do that all the time anyway but once we got out of Basic and tech school, we rediscovered the wonders of buses and cars. But not so in Basic. So, it went something like this. The Drill Sergeant would holler “form up”. Now we had done this enough that we would get into lines about seven across and seven deep. The sergeant would then have us do a “right face” and would say, “If you are taller than the man in front of you, tap him on the right shoulder and move up.” In other words, if you are tall, move up…if you’re short don’t.
Well, I simply waited for the inevitable tap on the right shoulder and sure enough…it came. Then the sergeant would have us do a “left face” and we would do it all over again. The command came, “If you are taller than the man in front of you, tap him on the right shoulder and move up.” So, the end result was the tallest people were at the right front and the shortest people were in the left back. Well, it seems I spent a lot of time in the back left.
I’m sure there is a reason for all of this. It certainly must have looked more uniform, and I guess it probably looked more impressive. I’m glad we didn’t apply this logic and formula to family photographs. If we did, some of us would have never been seen. I always wrestled with things like this because it seemed to make me feel kinda…small. It sometimes seems that the world places great value on a man’s stature—the taller the better and it is true in so many arenas and places around the world. But there is one place that it doesn’t matter one bit…and that is the place that matters the most.
You see, when it comes to God, He is not impressed even a little bit with our height, weight, or even how much hair we have. In fact, He is the one who made us and since He doesn’t make mistakes, well, that means He got it right. When God was choosing the second king of Israel, the search committee naturally assumed the biggest and tallest would be selected. Well, God said, “Nope.” It turned out that there was a short, ruddy, teenage shepherd boy that, through God’s prospective, fit the bill perfectly. You see, God looks at the size of the heart and not the height. He looks on the inside and not the outside. I like that. A lot.
So, as you journey through life, and you are bugged because it seems you got in the wrong lines in heaven (and just to be clear…there really aren’t any lines) remember that God made you just way He wanted you. When they were doing the selection process for that king, God said, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Well, there you go. You won’t find any of that, “tapping the shoulder thing and moving up” in God’s family. We made us equal and loves us equally. And if anyone tries to tell you differently, just remind them who’s calling the shots and remember that no matter what, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne