Friday, February 3, 2012

Armed and Ready

I smile as they walk off into the woods.
Winter's sloping sunlight at their backs makes for long shadows in front.
Two boys, well armed, go into the wilderness determined to subdue all opponents.
Grant has a machete slung nonchalantly over his right shoulder, over his left is a bow and a case of arrows. Rowan has a duct tape sword. I'm guessing there's a slingshot in his pocket and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a pocket knife somewhere as well.
Grant turned 10 this week and somehow, in this moment, I see the future.
My boys, walking away from me, towards the shadows, towards the wilderness.
The thought comes quickly, If he is armed spiritually like he is physically, he will have nothing to fear.
But no, having the weapon is not enough, he needs to know how to use it.
So we set up a target. He memorizes the Word.
The truth, the bulls eye, becomes familiar. His eye is trained to seek the center.
He learns how to apply it to his life, what weapon to use in each situation. This is wisdom.
He shares the adventure with a brother, a sister. This is fellowship, love.
He learns to always center himself on the target, even if it's uncomfortable, even if he has to adjust his position to do so. This is faith.
There is victory in the sight of my warriors walking away. I know my job isn't even close to being done, I know that the boys will come in cold and wet, wanting hot chocolate and warm underwear. I know the target is still hazy to them sometimes.
I know,
and yet I rejoice.
Because they are walking in the right direction, with the sun at their back, illuminating everything they see.
They are well armed.
And by the grace of God, they will subdue their enemies.
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Psalms 127:3-5

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