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Aiming requires more than a target

This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. (Isaiah 48:17)

Directed - it means more than just being guided. Did you realize that being 'directed' also carries with it the idea of being 'regulated' or 'managed'? Yes, we are subject to receiving guidance, but we are also submitted to doing whatever that guidance requires of us. "Guided" people don't usually stumble over too much, do they? There is an advantage to being guided, but if we are fighting every step of the way to just be in control, to not be 'managed' through the obstacles of life, then we will catch our toes on all kinds of stumbling places!

A 'directed' person is one who has a determined aim in life. Did you ever stop for a moment to consider what one must do to achieve 'perfect aim'? In the military, they trained me in the use of a firearm, but let me assure you it took some doing to move from a familiarity with the many parts that made up the weapon I was issued to actually learning how to hit the target almost every time I fired it. A lot went into aiming the weapon, including my steadiness of grip/hold, my ability to focus on the target through the site, and the ease at which I pulled back on the trigger. The quieter I was in my stance, the better the aim. The more relaxed I was in my breathing, the better the aim. Learning to aim was hard, but without the advantage of 'aim', the weapon was merely a loud piece of equipment that may or may not do what it was intended to do.

Learning to use that weapon well also meant I had to learn to focus on what I was aiming at. There were a whole lot of 'targets' I could have shot out there on the practice fields, but only some of them were the ones I was supposed to be focusing on. In life, there are lots and lots of things that are out there for us to focus on - to aim at. Not all of them are the right things for us to be 'targeting' in life, though. There are just some things we don't want to mess with. There are other things that are someone else's 'focus' right now and we aren't to be aiming at those 'targets' because they are in someone else's sights! God isn't interested in us hitting every target ahead of us - just the ones he intends for us to focus upon.

As you might imagine, getting familiar with the 'right' or 'wrong' targets is a little bit of a challenge for most of us. We don't spend as much time fixing our focus on the right stuff some times and that means we are aiming at 'whatever moves us'. The problem is that 'whatever moves us' may not always be something we should be attentive toward because we will miss the things that required our more immediate attention. I became an expert marksman in the military, but today I am out of practice. I haven't used those skills in a long, long time. Did I forget what they taught me? No, but have I used these skills lately? No. What is not used is oftentimes lost - so don't lose out on what God has given you in the way of 'discrimination of targets' in life. He wants us to not only know how to hit the target, but to aim at the right ones, too! Just sayin!

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