We were spending the day in Montgomery and saw this event advertised. It sounded like fun. I mean, the world championship of archery sounds like an entertaining afternoon. We did not plan to spend the whole day there; it's a 3 day event. We just wanted to check it out and see what kind of excitement an event like this would generate.
As it turns out, this kind of event does not generate a whole lot of excitement unless you are in it or related to someone in it.We found out when we got there that this afternoon was the youth portion of the event. Perhaps the finals on Sunday generates more excitement than this afternoon did. There were about 15 people in the stands. There were 12 teenagers competing. I also learned that this is a quiet event. I am pretty sure that's because the shooters are concentrating on their targets. There was a guy sitting fairly close to me and his cell phone went off. All the shooters stopped shooting, turned, and gave him the "stink eye." I stared at him just enough that they would know it was his cell and not mine.
Each round of shooting would start when the head guy would blow a whistle (fairly softly; not like a 10 year old boy would blow it) that signals it is time to start and they would all shoot several arrows at a target. Then, they would walk to the targets and score the arrows. After that, they would rotate to the next set of targets; 2 shooters per set of targets. They did not announce any scores or anything so it was hard to tell who was winning. We stayed about 15 minutes. That seemed about plenty for this "first." If we had a child competing, we would have stayed the whole time.
Trying to stay quiet
Seriously, ice pickle pop???
I was amazed at the accuracy that these young people had with a bow and arrow. They were all shooting compound bows. Some targets were about 25 yards away and others looked to be about 30, 40 on up to about 50 yards away. The 50 yard targets I just could not see where the arrows were hitting. The 25-40 yard targets I could see and these teens were consistently hitting the center of the target. If they could shoot like that in the woods, a deer better not give them a good shot or it would go down. It was obvious that these folks had spent many hours of practicing before the event; probably years.
If you spend enough time at something, you can get really good at it. It helps to have a good coach and some feedback on how you are doing. The archers could immediately see if they hit the target or not. I'm sure if they shot high two or three times in a row, they would make the necessary adjustments. It would be reasonable to assume they listened to their coaches give them instructions. For someone to shoot consistently with that kind of accuracy, it is not an accident.
As followers of Jesus, we need to take aim at being more and more Christ-like. When we do something like speak harshly to someone or get angry over a selfish reason, we need to recognize that we missed the target and ask the Lord to help us make some corrections. It would be good to ask someone more mature than us how they deal with those particular types of temptations. It is interesting that the word sin is a word that means "missing the mark." So, when we miss the mark of acting Christ-like, we need to recognize that and follow the Spirit's plan to correct it. It would be kind of ridiculous if an archer missed every target to the left. He/she would not have to be real smart to figure out they needed to correct that. As followers of Jesus, if there is a particular sin that we keep committing, instead of simply asking the Lord to forgive you (a real good first step), ask Him to show you what to do next time to prevent that sin from happening. Forgiveness is good; living holy is better.
Let's not forget to keep shooting for Christlikeness daily. Just as these young archers spend a lot of time practicing, we need to aim at being more like Jesus every day. We also need to aim at helping others become more like Jesus. Colossians 1: 28-29 says, "He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me."
Taking aim at the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Jesus' example