I am not the camping type whatsoever. Anybody who knows me would say that is a massive understatement! I did one semi roughing it camping trip as a teenager and almost died. The only thing I know about camping comes from the show on Mountain Men on History Channel (give me a second because this is relevant to what I’m going to talk about). Every so often while camping in in the middle of nowhere one of these campers will hunt with their food with a bow and arrow. They will identify a target and then get ready. One of the things I’ve learned from watching is that several seemingly small practices determine their success in hitting the target. Things like finger position on the bow string, their stance, and elbow rotation. If you are off a little in the preparation to release the arrow, it is compounded exponentially as the arrow starts moving toward target. Simply knowing where you want the arrow to go means almost nothing. Preparing to hit the target is what matters most.
The same is true with our life. Almost anyone I meet has a target for their life. They have a vision for their career, their education, their relationships, and their dreams. I bet you have a target for what you want your future to look like.
Here’s what is obvious but overlooked: Knowing what your target is for the future is not enough. The temptation is to believe that since we know the target, we are prepared to hit it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is it doesn’t matter how sincere you are, how much believe, how much you intend to do, how motivated you are, or how much you pray.
There is no correlation between knowing what the target is and being prepared to hit it.
Again, it’s obvious but one example is couples who spend way more time preparing for a wedding then a marriage. You probably haven’t seen a lot of terrible weddings, but you’ve seen a lot of terrible marriage.
So, here is the question: How do you prepare to hit your target? Let me give you four things:
1.Action: Don’t allow hope, intention, and desire to seduce you into thinking you’ve made progress. Those things can lead to progress, but they are not progress. The target you have for your spiritual life, your marriage, your kids, or your future are initiated by doing something. In the negative sense, a lot of times we see something that isn’t right in our life and have the propensity to ignore it and justify it. This is where action may be most crucial. That feeling may be God speaking to you to make a change, but he won’t do it for you. In fact, once you know something needs done, God’s work is done. It’s up to you because he will not force his will on you.
2.Sacrifice: You may have to sacrifice something in terms of a relationship, reputation, or resources. Sometimes it even requires an extreme act move in the direction you need to go. We miss a lot of future targets because we are unwilling to sacrifice now.
3.Embarrassment: You may have a decision that may not make sense to some people close to you because you aren’t responding to what is but what will be. Most people live tethered to this moment but when you live outside or the here and now it can look strange. Be willing to make a decision that people around you won’t understand right away.
4.Relief: Nobody regrets acting especially when they are paying attention to wisdom. The thing is wisdom is really the voice of God. God set the word to work according to sowing and reaping, cause and effect, and wisdom. When we follow the voice of wisdom, we are following the voice of God.
What is the target you’re moving toward? What do you need to do next? If you are a follower of Jesus what is at stake is your faith and confidence in God.