Letters to Jesus (Similes, Metaphors & Paradoxes)- 17
I once saw in a comic strip a little boy who was shooting with a bow and arrows at a target hanging on a very long, high fence. A few of his arrows were in the ground and a few in the fence. None were in the target. A little girl, standing nearby, chided him for his lack of marksmanship. But his firm reply was, “Whad’ya mean? All my practice has paid off. I can finally hit the fence.”
I like that comic strip because I can identify with that little boy and his inability to hit the target straight on. He doesn’t give up trying but, with practice, gets closer and closer to the target without hitting it. It’s similar to my own spiritual endeavors. I refuse to quit. I refuse not to practice even though it is often very discouraging when I can’t hit the target. Every once in awhile my arrows hit the fence instead of flying into space or into the ground. Hitting the fence is progress, but still not on the mark. Sometimes I feel very satisfied that I just hit the fence. But deep down I know that’s not good enough. I should keep trying for the target, and even when and if I hit the target it won’t be good enough until I hit the bulls-eye.
I think I’m getting better at hitting the fence and maybe I’ve even nipped the target once or twice. But I’ve never yet come close to the bulls-eye. In a sense the bow and arrows are analogous to the ladder of many spiritual writers or to St. Theresa’s castles. There’s always another rung, another chamber, another part of the target. It takes a lot of practice.
Thanks very much for a fascinating blog--it's one of the first I've read here and certainly it inspires me to look for more. I was drawn to your comment "I should keep trying to hit the target"--I strongly believe it is our mission to keep doing the best we can, praying for God's guidance and support, trusting that His Will is for our best.
On a secular level, I am reminded of the hours I spent pitching a baseball at a mark on a wall, and my younger brother, on his knees in our basement, throwing a football at a target. I pray for similar dedication to service projects uniting fellow Christians, common celebration of good Christian works, and common worship services.
I'm still wondering at the connection of your post to similes, etc--I wondered if it meant that there were some you were persistently struggling to understand, as I do. I hope you might comment. Thanks again.