It’s no secret that one of my favorite things about working with the Chapel is being able to spend so much time with young people. On the other hand, it might be a small secret that one of Jayla and my Covid pastimes was archery. Who didn’t think that being able to find food in the woods might be a necessary skill! This past week these two amazing activities came together.

Recently, one of the coolest young men around the valley became pretty interested in archery. Everyone who has seen me shoot a bow will laugh at the idea of me trying to give anyone lessons in archery… But we both lept at the chance to get out on the range nonetheless. Letting arrows fly and subsequently searching for them in the tall grass left me with some moments for reflection. My favorite lesson within is the difference between precision and accuracy. Accuracy is your ability to hit the target. Your ability to have a goal and meet it in an exact manner. Precision is how close the second, third, and fourth arrows are to the first arrows. It’s your ability to repeat the shot. I will be the first to admit that I’m not very accurate. But when I was learning to shoot a bow I had a patient friend that would celebrate every time two arrows were remotely close to each other. He would often say something like “look at that grouping!” even when “that grouping” was 10 ft away from the target in the grass.

After pulling the bow string so many times that I wished I still had calluses on those fingers, I began to think about how profound it is to celebrate the little successes… Even the ones that aren’t really successes but rather precise groupings of errors. It seems like it’s so easy to get focused on perfection that we lose the simple joy of progress. I don’t know what your goals are this day, this week, or this year. I can’t tell you what the target is. But I feel confident in telling you that whatever your target is there’s a God in heaven who smiles and celebrates every arrow that flies from your bow. May our faith journey be filled with the freedom to fail and the joy of knowing that we follow a hero who came to make up for the discrepancy between our precision and the need for true accuracy.