Remember the day when you had to carefully shoot a picture? You lined things up just right, you made sure the perspective was just right. Your subject was centered, you got the right angle and positioning so that everything looked picture perfect and then…. you clicked the button.
We were cautious and conscientious of the shots we took. Because we only had so many on that roll of film. And you had to print every picture. You didn’t want to clutter it up with a bunch of wasted shots.
And now my camera roll has 18 shots of the same thing, 17 of which are not that great.
They were shot in rapid succession without much concern for getting it just right. It was OK if they weren’t perfect because there was always another opportunity.
There was no fear of a miss take….a mistake.
What if I lived my life a little more like that? Sometimes it seems we are so afraid to follow Spirit’s nudging because we fear making a mistake. How often does our fear hold us back, paralyze us? What if we approached life with a bit more faith? Realizing there is always another opportunity. Each moment is just another succession of opportunities to do better, to course correct. That a miss take was just a step in the direction of getting it right.
Perhaps that’s some of the wisdom behind the saying from the Chinese philosopher Tranxu: “When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills; when he shoots to win a brass trophy, he is already nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind.” Fear only hinders our faith.
The origin of the word sin literally implies ‘missing the mark.’ Perhaps life is really just target practice. We keep trying over and over and over again. And that’s ok. There’s no misstep where God doesn’t meet us there.
Most of my life has been a series of learning. Lots of ‘missing the shot’ happens before I gain skill in anything. I’m not capable of anything more and I don’t think God expects any more, only faithfulness, earnestness.
Perhaps fear only gets in my way and inhibits me giving my all, giving my best to the task at hand. Perhaps a miss take is not a misstep but just a step closer to better. Getting me one step closer to where I need to be.
Yes, miss takes are really just stepping stones to growth. Look at the rocky, slow growth of the apostles, or most people I admire. They didn’t get to where they are by being frozen in fear. They cast out into the deep, they took steps of faith. Yes they fell, yes they failed, but Grace never did. Grace never fails us.
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