Thursday night in the spring is 3D archery night. Tim Bates and I are partners so we always shoot together and try to help each other shoot the best that we can. There is the aspect of actual shooting form, but there is also the other half of figuring out yardage, so often two heads are better than one.
This past Thursday we were “on” and shooting very well. We came up to a target that looked to be about 30 yards away and I was up to shoot first. I nailed it right in the sweet spot! I told Tim that it was indeed 30 yards away and told him to “shoot for my arrow.” So that’s what he did. When he shot we heard arrows hitting. That’s not uncommon because from the force of them landing they shutter and if they’re close often they’ll slap each other.
But when we walked up to the target this is what we saw:
And here’s a close-up:
Now I have several arrows displayed in my garage that are called “robin hoods.” Those are arrows that hit another arrow directly. Usually they mushroom the arrow out and only go in a little ways. Tim’s arrow being narrower than my arrow and being directly on target literally went totally inside my arrow.
Despite the fact that it totally ruined two perfectly good arrows it immediately created this blog post. You see, there is this concept in the Bible that sin is “missing the mark.” It is literally tied to the Greek word ἁμαρτάνω. If you don’t read Greek, here you go:
hamartanó: to miss the mark, do wrong, sin
Original Word: ἁμαρτάνω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (ham-ar-tan’-o)
Short Definition: I sin
Definition: originally: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin, commit a sin (against God); sometimes the idea of sinning against a fellow-creature is present.
Romans 3 puts it this way:
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24 bold and italic added)
It’s as if I stepped up to the line, judged the distance wrong, shot my arrow and it landed in the dirt in front of the target. Believe me, it’s happened! On my 3D archery scorecard that’s a zero! However, in 3D archery there’s room for some error. If you hit the X ring (or could we say “the mark”?) you get 11 points. If you get in the sweet spot you get 10 points. In the kill zone you get 8 points, but if you hit any part of the target you get 5 points. I mean, you can hit it’s ear and still get 5 points. On God’s scorecard there’s only hitting the mark or missing the mark and missing the mark is way, way worse than a zero on a scorecard! Romans 3 just stated that we have ALL missed the mark! But it also goes on to state the there is grace and redemption through Jesus Christ.
When Jesus told the very familiar parable of the prodigal son, he shared about that wonderful grace. The son comes home telling his father that he “hamartano.” He “missed the mark.” I’d say that was a good description. And what was the father’s response? “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:22-24)
Through Jesus we hit the mark!