So the other day I was working in the lab carrying out a “simple” titration experiment. “Simple” because they always tell you it’ll be short and easy and it never is. Hashtag: things my professors lie about…I mean, the concept is simple: Add an acid into a solutions and take note of the endpoints…Simple right?
Back to the experiment though. In determining the endpoints we had to keep track of the pH of the solution by using a pH meter. This was one of those electronic ones that you connect and then calibrate with know liquids. You really have to be precise AND accurate when you do this because, if the calibration is messed up, the whole experiment is messed up. Enters problem number one. If you know me you know that I tend to be really impatient sometimes and, sure enough, i got so tired with by pH meter moving between two numbers and not settling for one that I just used it like that. (oops, my professor wouldn’t be very happy about this).
It was in those moments of impatience and incompetence, that I really saw the importance of proper calibration of the pH meter. First, the fact that the meter helps determine whether the end points have been reached. It acts as the standard. Secondly, that it has to be calibrated first EVERY LAB SESSION. I learnt, also, that how you calibrate sets the tone for the rest of the experiment. Because of my impatience, I found all my pH readings ranging between two numbers every time, never staying on the same number. (Don’t worry, this experiment was so messed up I had to redo it so nothing lost).
The realization that happened in my lab got me thinking about the goodness of our daddy, God, and how he relates to us his kids. I was reminded that we are tools and we constantly have to be calibrated by Jesus. I looked back at my experiences and realized that, every time we go through a test, aka complete titration, we have to be recalibrated to ensure that we are giving the appropriate readings. I know, for me anyways, those calibration moments sometimes feel like setbacks and motion that is backwards rather than progressive. However, when the pH meter is recalibrated, that does not change the previous parts of the experiment that have been done and the report that has been made. Rather than do that, it ensures that the continuation of the experiment is consistent and on point. So really, it is not going back but it is preparing for the next part of the journey.
Calibration takes time! Boy oh boy am I glad that the father is not as impatient as I am. I am grateful that he takes his time with the calibration process and does not settle for almost accurate because, when it comes down to it, almost actually DOES count (see what I did there?). However, The Lord is so kind that he gives us the option of free will. So, unlike the pH meter, we have the choice of moving away from calibration too soon.(It would really be funny though if my pH meter started moving away from me while I was trying to calibrate it. Think talking pots, pans and cups in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Maybe they should make a science edition of a Disney film huh?).
Ok, I got carried away there for a moment. Through the experiment gone wrong, I understood more clearly that, when I allow myself to skip the calibration process or even move away before the process is complete, I will find myself drifting – drifting between true identity and the lies that the enemy tells me, drifting between the Grace of God and the shame that the enemy brings. More than anything, I may find myself drifting between the place that God has planned for me to be at and the position the enemy knows will derail me. I will be drifting between the TRUTH- which is what the father says of me and my position in and through him and the PERCEIVED TRUTH – which are the lies that are oh so easy to believe.
It became clear to me that, although recalibration can be exhausting it’s worth it at the end. I reflected on my own experiences and saw that, the times when the Lord is washing things away, cleaning up and putting things in order, are important for my hike upwards. And, because the Holy Spirit knows the areas we have weaknesses in, I was reminded that I should ALWAYS be patient with the calibration process.
In order to keep yielding the right readings, there will be moments of calibration, recalibration and re-recalibration (you get where I’m going with that yah?). Those moments are moments of rest. They are moments when the Lord just wants me to be. He doesn’t want me to strive in that time, but wants me to know that he knows exactly what his doing. “I’ve got this”, he says, “I am the best scientist there is after all”. I realized that my job is just to relax because, hey, pH meters are only as good as the standard makes them to be and, for me, Christ in the standard.
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was working at the wheel. And the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he made it over, reworking it into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make it. Jeremiah 18:3-4 [AMP]