by Sandy Kirby Quandt
One semester in college I took Archery for my summer P.E. credit. Once we left the classroom instruction and headed outside for target practice, the instructor informed us as soon as we hit a bull’s eye we would receive an A and be finished with the course.
He added a caveat. No girl had managed that feat in the shortened number of weeks that were left in our semester.
Gauntlet down. I determined to show him I was not just a girl.
Mind you, at the time I took that Archery class I was not fresh out of high school. Shoot. I couldn’t even technically be called a girl. Those days were long gone. Regardless, I was determined to do everything in my power to show that instructor females could hit a bull’s eye no matter how short the time frame.
It didn’t happen on the first try, and not the second, but I’ll never forget the day I stood up to the line, took my stance, faced the target, pulled back the string and let that arrow fly. Maid Marion had nothing on me.
Not only was I the first girl to hit the bull’s eye, I whacked the skin off my arm in the process. If you’ve ever had the bow string thwack across your forearm, you know the pain. And the swelling. And bruising. (Arm guards don’t help me. I need two of them on the same arm because my arm juts out at a funny angle.)
After my arrow sank into the target, my archery partner said something like “Way to go” as he and I high-fived. YES!
We were stationed near the end of the line of targets away from the instructor. When he noticed my bull’s eye, he called down the line, “Which one of you boys hit that?”
I stepped out of the line and faced him as my male partner, who had not yet scored a bull’s eye, shouted back, “She did!”
The instructor’s stunned silence was priceless. When he gave us the all clear, I stepped forward, tugged my arrow from the hay target, walked back to my partner, and told him so long.
Of course, archery isn’t the only area where others try to define us, our worth, or our ability. It happens all the time in all arenas.
Our parenting skills are lacking.
Our financial resources are lacking.
Our relationship status is lacking.
Our skill set is lacking.
Our education is lacking.
Our house is lacking.
Our car is lacking.
Our biblical knowledge is lacking.
Our sport ability is lacking.
Sure, there are areas where we are not able to perform as well as others. You all should know by now I am NOT the chef extraordinaire Pilot is. But I can whip up rather decent desserts. And if you were to ask him, I believe he’d tell you I do a better job with the laundry than he does.
But our abilities do not limit us from being used by God. It is our availability and desire to be used that do that. God can use each of us if we’re willing to let him. Our worth is in the fact we belong to Jesus. And because we belong to him, our desire is to be the best at whatever he wants us to be. God has given us a goal, to strive towards whatever lies ahead.
Others are not who define us. God is. And he thinks we’re pretty special. Special enough to allow his son, Jesus, to die a horrid death so we could be called his child. I’d say that’s pretty special.
Any toxophilites out there with archery stories to share?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.
Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ. Philippians 3:12-14 (Phillips)
I wish you well.
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