Our Finest Olympic Event

Archery has been an Olympic event since the second Olympic Games in Paris, France, in 1900. However, archery competition fell off and wasn’t seen between 1920 and 1972.

It was the introduction of standardized events that brought it back. Now nations across the world compete. South Korea dominates the field and is ranked No. 1 in the world. The United States is in second place with fewer than half the medals held by South Korea.

How does archery connect with our Christian walk? That’s easy. Let’s look at four ways.

Archery Connection No. 1:

First, we have to take the correct stance. Our body should be nearly perpendicular to the target and the shooting line. Only as we improve can we accurately adjust our stance for personal preference.

In our walk with God, we must line up with him. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us: “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

Archery Connection No. 2:

Next, we take aim. We can add mechanical sights to our bows, or we can depend on our visual acumen and well-practiced muscle memory to strike our target.

Our mechanical sight is the written Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

Archery Connection No. 3:

Third, we pay attention to the physics of archery. Our bow stores our muscles’ energy, allowing us to pull the bowstring with precision. When we release the bowstring, all our built up potential energy is instantly converted to kinetic (motion) energy.

When we test the Word of God, and we continually align ourselves with him, we build a reservoir of faith to overcome the world. Romans 12:2 instructs us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Archery Connection No. 4:

Finally, we hunt. This is markedly different from hunting with firearms. We have to get close to our prey, whether by standing exposed, stalking, or waiting in a blind. We have to intimately know those we would bring down, from their preferences for food to where they spend their spare time.

Hunting for sinners to bring them to salvation is the same. We have to know those we wish to bring to Christ, not pursue them from a distance. Luke 8:1 reminds us that even Jesus followed this rule: “Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him.”

So, what are our arrows aimed at? The sinner, of course, in order to bring them to Christ. Our arrows must be those of right living, love for Christ, and passion for the lost. We must aim our arrows carefully, using prayer and the Word to build ourselves up in him. Finally, we must get involved with those we wish to bring to Christ, for if the sinners we wish to win to him do not know us, how will they ever see Christ in us?

Archery. The Olympic Games are just our practice session for real life. Let’s aim our arrows with love so that Christ’s work on this world might be fulfilled.

When we love God, that love will extend to those who walk at our side.

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Excerpt of the Day

Jesus searches out the devil so he can toss him away, leaving us pure and unencumbered before him.

From Reclaiming What's Ours,  Posted 09 September 2015