Missing the Mark

Towards the end of college, I came across Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body through my college campus ministry.  St. Mary’s had set up study groups to delve into the Theology of the Body as presented by world-renowned theologian on the matter, Christopher West.

He explains, in a video we watched and in a book we read, that the Greek word for sin means “to miss the mark.”   Now, I don’t remember his exact analogy, but I could totally relate to his message on sin.

Quick backstory: I took Archery class for kinesiology credit my sophomore year and continued to take it practically every semester thereafter until graduation.  Not to brag or anything, I got good at the recurve bow ;-).

Anyway, Christopher West explained how when you sin…you aim for something good, but something twists your aim and you “miss the mark.”  In other words, I’m aiming for the bulls-eye, but maybe I didn’t have proper form or proper anchoring–I release the arrow and it isn’t a bulls-eye.  :-/

I think the important lesson here is to know that every time you sin, it’s really because you desire something which is good and holy, but somehow something has caused your view of that good thing to be twisted.

The other important thing I gained from this analogy, moreso from my own reflection, is that you can’t beat yourself up for having screwed up.  Not forgiving yourself for messing up isn’t a good thing either.  Be sorry, confess it–yes! As you are forgiven, you must also forgive yourself.

How does this relate to archery?  I’m not particularly pro at archery so it’s not like I shoot bulls-eyes (which is a score of 10 by the rules that I play) all the time.  If I shoot anything less than a 6, it’s easy for me to be negative about it but focusing on how I screwed up doesn’t net me a bulls-eye the next few arrows.  The archery (or golf, as I’ve also heard it) mentality for success requires focusing on what you’ve done right in order to keep hitting a 10 rather than dwelling on an unsuccessful arrow.  Haha, that could probably be its own blog post or can be read in books.  But yeah! Sin and archery…who would have known they kind of go together O_o.

In summary,

  • Sin, in Greek, means “to miss the mark”
  • Behind every sin is the desire for something good
  • The journey to success and “hitting the mark” can be a twisted one
  • Forgive yourself
  • Focus on what you did right!

…some inspiration:

12/05/09, recurve bow, 18 meters, Score = 30 pts

Trying not to brag…
– JD