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Who Built Your Stairs?

Codes are written in the blood of experience. When buildings are built, codes provide specific guidelines. Consider the International Building Code (IBC) regarding stairs.

The IBC specifies the height of all risers (the vertical component between treads) in a staircase, to not be more than 7 ¾ inches in height. It further specifies any variation of riser heights within a flight of stairs should not be more than ⅜ inch.

Regarding the treads, the depth is regulated to be no less than 11 inches (with other specifications regarding the nosing dimension, bevel and curve radius). The tolerance for variation of tread depths within a flight of stairs is also limited to no more than ⅜ inch.

Why are the height and depth of each step regulated regarding variation?


If you ever fell going up or down stairs, it may have been due to variations in the height or depth between steps. Your body quickly develops a cadence, even on an unfamiliar staircase, which can be broken by subtle variations.

Thought leaders somewhere in our past, asked the question to themselves, “why do people fall on stairs?” They not only considered why but took the time and effort to document and submit plans for safety going forward.

When you read a news report or a court case where the offender had a history of … (violence, arrests, domestic reports, calls…), that indicates one who made bad choices. Some of those choices may have been be due to ignorance, some by accident and some by evil intentions, but they all form a combined rhythm of failure; a rolling snowball effect.

There is rhythm in decisions. The more correct choices we make, the clearer our vision gets. Wrong choices bring muddy waters.


Think About it

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Psalms 37:23, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.”[i]

For our life course, scriptures provide a masterfully planned staircase. We’re not forced to use it. We can design our own or run up one designed by others. It’s our choice.

When going up or down stairs, ask yourself who built them. Think about your life – who’s staircase are you using?

You will encounter others running up poorly designed stairs. If someone pulls a gun on you, tell them they chose the wrong stairs.

[i] Both references are NIV

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