Meet Nozomu Tamari, 72, of Munakata City, Japan. He has been practicing the ancient art of Japanese archery for the past 25 years. At Munakata’s Hashougu Shrine, Tamari-san takes aim in a late-afternoon practice session of what is now called “an art,” but was used in the everyday lives of the Samurai in ancient Japan to protect against an enemy attack.
Tamari-san’s target is a small, round piece of coiled straw sitting about 30 to 50 meters in front of him on the ground. In the gallery of onlookers, there is total silence. He takes aim at what seems like a microscopic dot, pulls the bow, breathes deeply and holds his stance and breath, then releases the arrow. In the total silence, one can literally hear the sound of the arrow flying through the air, and with what sounds like big “splat,” onlookers in the gallery almost gasp at the precision of the hit! Bull’s eye!
Thesaurus options of words are amazing and bring more meaning to a word than what we learned in school so many years ago. Target: objective, goal, aim, end, plan, intention, intent, design, aspiration, ambition, ideal, desire and wish!
Substitute the above words for clearer meaning to this question: What is your target? Young people, how about you? College students? Married couples with young families? Those of you facing retirement? How about you, grandmas and grandpas? We should ALL have a target everyday: To please someone, help someone, make someone smile, do a better job at work, comfort someone, write a letter of appreciation to someone, to enjoy “this day which the Lord has made, to rejoice and be glad in it.”
If you do the math and subtract the length of time Tamari-san has been practicing this ancient art of target practice from his age, you will see he began targeting his future just before he turned 50. After all these years of persistency, he now hits the bull’s eye almost every time he releases the arrow in his bow.
Moral: consistency . . . never give up! Make your plans daily. Tell God your desires and wishes. Let Him know your objectives and ambitions. He IS interested in your life, you know.
This weekend, why not take aim and release some arrows of praise to God at church? I guarantee, as those onlooking angels in the gallery watch you take aim, breathe deeply and release the arrows, they will almost gasp when you hit the bull’s eye. As you send the arrows of rejoicing, praying and giving thanks toward God, you will surely hit the bull’s eye!
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks,
(rejoicing, praying and giving thanks)
is the will
(purpose, desire, plan, or “target”)
of God in Christ Jesus
1 Thess. 5:16-18.