I Missed My Mark!

Jim Coyle

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

"I missed my mark", is a common statement used in bowling when someone makes a bad shot.   Like many sports, bowling requires consistency and practice.   When I first started bowling, I aimed at the pins, like many people do.  The problem with this is that it’s harder to hit a target all the way down the lane than one closer to you.    After joining a “learn to bowl league”, I was taught 3 simple principles for consistency.   Hit you mark, (this is a term for a target on the lane that you constantly aim at), keep you balance and follow through with your arm swing.  I then began to put these principles to work and improved my consistency by practicing the basics regularly.

Over the past few years, I have become somewhat inconsistent with my bowling.   A few weeks ago, I bowled a 252 game (if you don’t bowl, this is a really good score) and in the next game my score was 128 (not good for someone with my average).  Several times I was heard saying “I missed my mark!”  The reason for my inconsistency is simple; I’m not practicing, I’m only bowling once a week.

Sometimes our walk with God may seem to be inconsistent.  We might feel like He has moved away from us, when in fact we are missing the mark.   The Greek word for sin, “Hamartia” is the same word used for missing the mark (an archery term).   When we are missing our spiritual mark it is sometimes just because we lack practice.   In John 15:5 Jesus tells us that we must remain in Him to produce fruit.   Remaining in Him requires practicing the basics of a Christian walk, reading the Bible, prayer, attending church services, and spending time with other Christians.  If we practice them on a daily basis, rather than just one a week, we will be less likely to be yelling, “I missed the mark!”


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