…She stayed at the party a bit longer this time and didn’t mind the absence of the sun so much. Eventually she went back to the range. But with the target re situated there were more and more excuses for her to venture where she shouldn’t…
This is part two of the parable – part one is a quick read – and kind of necessary – it’s here.
Soon she was spending as much time in the forest as she was shooting at the target.
Once, as she was returning to the target that she had left vacant far too long, she heard the voice of the range owner.
She had barely enough time to put the target back where it belonged and begin shooting arrows.
The owner came,
hands behind his back,
and things seemed all right.
But there was something in his eyes.
He didn’t know did he?
But he tilted his head
and looked at her in the strangest way.
He did know!
Getting caught is never fun.
“I’m sorry,” she sobbed, “but I had to get the arrows. Right?”
A knowing glance pierced the lie…
Walking towards her he commented, “I thought you were a better shot than that.” He took the remaining arrows out of her quiver and inspected each one. “No.” he said in a contemplative voice, sounding surprised, even though he wasn’t, “The arrows all seem straight, the feathers are fine. Is it the bow maybe?”
He seemed to know way more than he should have. By now she just wanted to run and hide. Was it guilt or conviction? Before she figured it out the owner handed the arrows back to her. “The target is over there. Go ahead.” His smile, at once both full of judgment and forgiveness, hinted that all was fine.
“But what about the penalty?” she asked, “I can’t afford the penalty.”
“It’s been taken care of.” he replied, “Just do your best. That wasn’t your best. Was it?”
Her words from a dropped head, almost too soft to hear.
“I can do better.”
It shouldn’t have been OK, but it was.
The woods, and the party, they weren’t so inviting anymore.
The range seemed strangely wider. More arrows hit the target. The owner smiled.
The only way to know what God wants is to know the target. We only know the target by knowing his Word. We only know the Word by reading the Word. Then, knowing where the target is, it’s our job to try to hit it consistently without fudging with the rules.
Missing is allowed. But intentionally moving the target is dangerous.
Moment by moment we make decisions.
The better we decide the closer to God we become.
The closer to God we become,
the less discipline is needed and received,
and the more blessings we have access to.
The more access we have to blessings,
the more apt we are to access mysteries of God.
It’s all about shooting at the target,
placed in the right spot,
from the center of the fairway,
staying out of the woods
as much as possible.