Hello, God. Welcome to My Classroom

Where Do You Aim Your Arrows?

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on May 7, 2012

Sometimes an item or idea pops up in a variety of different places in a short period of time. It might take a while, but eventually I acknowledge it. Is God trying to tell me something? Maybe I better pay attention. (I’m sure He smiles when this happens. And rolls His eyes and thinks Finally. How hard-headed can she be?)

Within the last couple of weeks, arrows keep appearing. I’ve seen or heard about arrows in a Sunday message, in a Boy Scout ceremony, and in my classroom (Why The Hunger Games Should Be Taught in School). I decided to do some research – and pray, of course – to figure out what message God might have for me with all these arrows flying around since I’m not quick enough to duck out of the way.

I started with the Boy Scouts. Colton had a “crossover” ceremony last week and the part for the older boys involved the Arrow of Light. The BSA website describes the Arrow of Light as the highest rank in Cub Scouting. Earning this rank prepares a Webelos Scout to become a Boy Scout.

I read the information, but it didn’t really resonate with me. Colton just moved from Wolf Scout to Bear Scout, so he has quite a while before he’ll be earning the Arrow of Light. I didn’t think my lesson could be found here.

My next step: The Hunger Games. My students are engaged. Class time flies by. It’s a great unit, but I don’t think Katniss’s gift of archery really pertains to me unless I’m ignoring a personal gift or ability, but this line of thinking didn’t seem right either, so I moved on.

The Sunday message was based on Psalm 127:1-5. Verse 4 states, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.” Pastor Tag’s message “Arrows from Heaven” offered advice on the direction we should be leading our families because our children are such precious gifts from God. As a warrior cares for and uses his arrows, parents should prepare, point, protect, and propel their children.

Okay, this definitely has more to do with my life than the other arrows. I’m always looking for ways to readjust my aim with my kids, to get this mom thing down pat. But the message made me think of shooting your arrows (children) away once they’ve reached the end of high school and are ready to move onward and upward. Autumn is a sophomore. I don’t want to focus on the ache of loneliness I’ll experience when she leaves me after high school. Surely that’s not the intended meaning of all these arrows. (Yes, I’m fully aware I might be in denial about this one…)

I decided to do a little more Bible research. Jackpot! I think I finally found the reason for the arrows pointing every which way.

“They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows.” Psalms 64:3

“Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.” Proverbs 25:18

Words can be barbed and harmful especially when they aren’t truthful. Obviously as an 8th grade teacher, I deal with a lot of drama and heartache caused by gossip. And like arrows, rumors can’t be taken back once you shoot them toward the target. I often tell my students you can tell more about a person by what he or she says about others than you can by what others say about them.

The Bible says the path to heaven is straight and narrow. The cliché ‘straight as an arrow’ came about from people mispronouncing that biblical reference. When people veer from the straight and narrow path, they gossip. It’s human nature. Sliding into a habit of focusing on other people comes easily, especially with a willing collaborator. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” She’s right. We need to aim our words in a different direction than at fellow human beings because we have been commanded to love one another.

Whew, I finally figured out the meaning of the arrows. But then another one flies through my living room. Colton is watching Looney Tunes. Foghorn Leghorn floats up, up, and away, and his cute little nephew shoots an arrow into the hot air balloon to save him. Foghorn slams back to the ground, unscathed of course, as only cartoon characters can. Another message, perhaps?  Maybe one about staying grounded? Possibly, but that will have to wait for another day.

Where are your arrows pointing?


2 Responses to 'Where Do You Aim Your Arrows?'

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  1. Marji Laine said,

    I love the way the Lord will get my attention by sending the same message several times. He makes sure He is heard by His children!
    Great post!

    • Thanks so much, Marji. Sometimes it takes a while, but He just keeps at it until I pay attention!

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