Summary: Three targets to shoot for.
“Aiming for Perfection”
September 16, 2012
Last week I had an interesting experience. I have a lot of interests and my life is never dull - but a lot of people are unaware of my interest is shooting. I grew up handling guns since I was a young boy. I shot expert with every gun they gave me in the army. But my favorite was, and is, the forty five caliber pistol. Every summer, when I go back home to Minnesota, we always have a pistol shoot out. And I do pretty well. But I have never gotten involved here in Mount Shasta.
Well, I attended my first shooting competition last week at the Dunsmuir Rod and Gun Club. I have been a member for a couple of years but I have never been involved in a shooting competition. I had a blast! I guess I did pretty well, too. I surprised a lot of people. But I know I can do better than I did. I have higher expectations of myself. I guess I am my own worst critic. Most people don’t know my background so they don’t think a preacher would be a pretty good pistol shooter. But then – I’m not your average preacher – am I?
Aren’t you glad that God can use each one of us with our unique blend of interests and talents? Paul said,
“...I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” I Corinthians 9:22
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
I think one lesson we can glean from my experience; one target we can shoot for- is that we need to be involved; we need to be engaged. To sit at home and watch the world go by is not the Christ-like way. People need to see us in the community. We need to take Christ to the community.
When I got to the gun club, I recognized some familiar faces. Most I didn’t know very well, but a lot of people knew me. One of the leaders came up to me and said, “Oh good! Glad to see you here Andy. Would you pray for us before we start?” I said, “I would be happy to.”
I think some of the guys kind of shrunk back a little – but then when I started shooting – and hitting what I was shooting at – I felt like they kind of said, “Ohhh! He’s okay! He can shoot!” And they became really friendly. Lent me ammo and gave encouragement and so on.
The Great Commission says to go...! Listen.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...” Matthew 28:19
Before you can make disciples; before you can baptize them; before you can teach them to obey Jesus – you have to go. How are you doing at going? How are you at bringing Christ to the community? Our first target is to engage; it is to become involved.
Another target, secondly, is to be prepared. Usually, in just about any competition, the prize goes – not to the most talented – not even to the most experienced; but it usually goes to the best prepared. I did manage to get out on the range and shoot a box of shells last week. But you can’t expect to compete with the best by only going out once every few months. The best shooters usually are cops. It might have something to do with free ammunition – I’m not sure. But I am sure that to be the best in just about anything – you need to prepare. There are a lot of people in every endeavor who have suffered disappointment because they thought natural ability and talent would get them through. It won’t. It takes preparation.
Last week we talked about that being a part of the Christian Warrior’s armor. The Scripture says,
“and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
Ephesians 6:16 NKJV
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:28-33