How do I hit the bull’s-eye, Dad?

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV)

What are you aiming for?

  • A big promotion at work that would make you king of your world?
  • Early retirement to south Florida?
  • The greenest lawn on your block?
  • The biggest boat you can fit in your driveway?
  • Local news highlight footage of your kid’s athletic accomplishments?

 

These “targets” are all-too-easy for me to quickly list off, because, at some point in my life, I had foolishly exerted an inordinate amount of time and energy aiming at them.

Occasionally – no, make that rarely – I’d hit the target, but, most times, I’d shoot too high or too low, too far right or too far left.   And, embarrassingly, sometimes my arrows just plunged into the dirt faster than you could plead for a Mulligan (a do-over).

Perhaps you’re a little like me?

It brings to mind a simple, but powerful saying my own dad, Smoke Zimmerman, an expert shooter, instructed me in years ago, “Be careful where you aim.”

Indeed!

Because of the amazing work God has called me to (ministering at Christian camps and conference centers across the country), my five kids and I have enjoyed several opportunities to improve our archery aim (see image above).  Fantastic fun!

On one recent archery outing, my youngest son Braden’s first arrow was far off-target.

And so was the second one.

And the third one, too.

Slumping shoulders and eyes hurting deeply to the point of spilling over into tears, Braden quietly sought my advice, “How can I hit the bull’s-eye, Dad?”

Now, as many will attest, I’m no archery expert, but I did my best to instruct Braden.  Drawing upon what my dad taught me, and what I picked up from the BSA archery merit badge I barely earned at Scout camp in the 1980’s, I was able to point Braden in the right direction.

Admittedly, his fourth shot was similar to the first three, but his fifth shot hit the hay bale and, eventually, one of his arrows found its way to the white space under the target.  Score!

I was so pumped for him!  God gave me such joy in being able to teach my son, just as I had instructed all of my kids, on how to properly aim your arrow on target and get close to hitting something.  Talk about Dad-hood bliss!

And it’s here that I’m reminded of King Solomon’s words of Psalm 127:3-5: Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

Our children truly are a gift from the Lord Himself, and they certainly don’t stay little long!  In the short time that we have our children under our roof, our aim is to teach our kids – our proverbial arrows – to fly straight to the target: to serve God, to serve others, and to make choices that make Jesus proud.  Bull’s-eye!

When my aim is targeting worldly fame, fortune, and folly (remember, “Be careful where you aim.”), I experience cringe-worthy results much like Braden initially shooting into the dirt.  But when I aim to shoot “my arrows” on target by investing myself into my kids for Christ, I revel in the “bull’s-eye” results God promises through Solomon’s words: Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

I’d like to encourage you now with a straightforward challenge that can help you build your relationships in Christ.

Challenge: What are YOU aiming for?

Praises and Prayers to Jesus

  • 17 students made a first-time decision for Christ at Camp Joy El’s 2016 Momentum retreats where we ministered together over three weekends – praise God!
  • Jesus called home Robert Buchter, a long-time friend and founding member of our 12-year Bob Evans Boys morning men’s group, who succumbed to cancer this past Saturday, December 3rd. Please pray for God’s peace and provision for his bride, Barbara, and his two children, Penelope and Benjamin.
  • “Doug” (not his real name), a dear brother in Christ who is incarcerated, recently learned that he will likely not be able to practice medicine for an additional five years after he’s released; the specters of personal bankruptcy and a drastically downsized lifestyle loom. Please pray God would protect him and his family, and that God would give me eyes to see and ears to hear during my prison visits.

 

Want to join us in equipping more men to connect through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  Please click HERE.

On behalf of our board and serving Jesus with you,

 

Travis and Suzanne Zimmerman

Pastor, Co-Founders

traviszim
travis@afaithfuldad.org
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