Many sports involve hitting a target. Anyone who has thrown darts, shot an arrow or fired a gun knows that the aim is to hit he bulls eye. Of course in those sports you are also rewarded for coming close. As long as you hit one of the concentric rings around the bullseye, you are still awarded some points. You may be high or low, left or right of he bullseye, but as long as you hit the board you get something.
Other sports are less forgiving. Sports that involve goals for instance. In those sports you either hit or miss, there is no prize for coming close. Many an athlete and fan knows the heartbreak of a near miss. Growing up I heard the expression “A miss is as good as a mile”, meaning whether you missed by an inch or by many yards, you still missed.
The greek word for sin is “Hamartia”, it means to miss the mark. The goal in our life, according to the Bible is to hit the mark, to reach the goal, to obtain the prize. The mark of course is to become like Jesus. God’s goal for my life and yours is that we should be transformed into the image of His son, anything less is missing the mark.
These days there is a lot of discussion about leaning left, or leaning right. Some people pride themselves on taking the high road, others are happy to go low. We need to remember that as Christians our aim needs to be straight and narrow, there is only one goal, and that is to be conformed to the image of Christ. Anything to the left or right of that is missing the mark. It doesn't really matter if I miss to the left or the right, I still miss. It doesn't matter if I aim too high (Pharisees) or aim too low (Unrighteousness), I still miss. Whether I trust in government or lean on my own understanding, whether I’m a hypocrite or self righteous, whether I’m a thief or a liar, or a gossip or a back-biter... I still miss the mark!
There are many important things going on around us right now, but lets remember, none of these things will make me more like Jesus - not activism, not passivism, not political affiliation, not ideology, nothing in this world can transform me into the image of His son.
When Jesus was at the home of Mary and Martha the Bible tells us that Martha was busy doing many things, but Mary sat quietly at Jesus’ feet. When Martha complained to Jesus He answered her and said “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
You might be troubled by many things today, but choose to give your attention to the one thing that matters!
Paul said it like this: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”