Monday, January 18, 2016


The bitter has broken. We’ve had below-zero temps but today it’s 40 degrees and the sun shines bright. I leave Samuel in charge during lunch break from school and I go for a run. When I return, the younger boys are waiting, slingshots in hand.

“We’re ready,” a son says. “We have the ammo from Mr. Roger. Can we have a few more minutes of lunch break?”

I look into their green eyes – these two youngest sons. They’re full of hope. Yesterday, a friend from church gave them a bag of white marbles. “Be careful,” he said. “Don’t shoot at one another. Set your target in an open space and be wise.”

I think about our afternoon home school subjects. It’s a weighty load. Then I look at the sunshine that stretches over the living room rug in wide, gold bars and I have to give in.

“Careful,” I say.
The boys are off.
And as I watch these sons, standing together and slinging marbles at a pizza box they’ve fashioned to a bulls-eye, I wonder….

Am I living on target? How close am I to hitting the mark?

I think of Jesus and his reply when asked which command in God’s law is most important.

Jesus said, “’Love the Lord your God will all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:34-36 MSG

I watch from the window as my boys shoot and bolt into the marshy yard to retrieve their marbles. I watch until my breath fogs the glass.

Lord, let me live on target.

When I think about it, when I pare it all back and look at time and talents and what I’ve done with what the Lord gives, I worry that I fall short. Busyness robs my intention and sets me off track.

Lord, let me be wise and obedient. Let me love you first and others next.

I stand there a few minutes longer, watching my boys play under the unusually warm January sun. When one boy hits the target, the bulls-eye center, there’s a celebration.  A loud, heartfelt cheer.

I smile and clap and tap on the glass. I give a thumbs-up and the boys do a thumbs-up back. Their joy is bright as the day.

Hitting the target is precious.

Lord, empower me. With Your Spirit and direction, I can live well for You.

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