I found myself at the firing range this week to work on my accuracy. The course of fire I follow offers a perfect score of 150. Each and every time step to the line, I visualize a 150 score from 30 rounds worth a maximum of 5 points each. I follow each round to the target and the moment a round strays from the 5 point range I realize immediately that a 150 score just disappeared. The miss doesn’t occur at the target, it occurs at the moment I pull the trigger. Once the round leaves my barrel, I can’t stop it, nor can I walk out to the target and remove the hole or move it from the 3-point zone to the 5-point zone. I can’t fill it in or cover it up, what’s done is done and each miss moves my score lower.
Words are a lot like bullets. They move pretty quickly and can either hit their mark or miss the target completely. They can wound, they can even kill in the most extreme cases. Once you let them fly, once you pull the trigger, you can’t pull them back into the barrel. If there is a purpose to your words, like target practice, each miss drops your score and your ability to make a meaningful point.
With a weapon you have choices. You can leave your finger outside of the trigger guard or for that matter, leave the gun in your holster all together. If time isn’t a factor, you can slow down, take a deep breath, be extra sure of your aim and then let it fly. Words offer the same options. You can slow down, take a breath and think about what you want to say before you let those words fly. Of course, you can decide to leave your weapon in your holster and not engage at all, hence the old adage “It is better to be silent and thought a fool then to speak and remove all doubt.”
In the same category as guns and words comes love. Once you have fallen in love, there is no way to take it back. As I stated in a previous blog, love is an action and not just an emotion, the action of giving away a piece of your heart. Like a bullet, once that piece of your heart is gone there is no way to get it back in the barrel. It’s also true that giving away your heart can lead to enormous, debilitating pain. Having been burned once, many of us choose to leave our love in our holster, never to draw it out again.
As for me, no one has given away more parts of his heart than me. Lost love doesn’t just slip away, it crashes through your life like a freight train. I have had more trains pass through me than the old Central Terminal. Those close to me have suggested I keep my heart in my holster, that maybe I should just ride off into the sunset atop my trusted steed. That just isn’t me, I am not one to give up, remaining the optimist. I still step up to the line and visualize a 150, even in my love life. Besides, the steed makes a mess of the living room that I have to clean up.
We, as human beings, are on this earth to love, to care about each other and yes, as the Shepherd Chronicles point out, to lift each other up. Rise above the current state of affairs. Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into the angry rhetoric. Give your heart away. There is no greater feeling than doing so and receiving someone else’s heart in return. I can step up to the line and visualize a 150 but if I never pull the trigger, if I don’t try, I will never engage the target, never achieve my goals. Not pulling the trigger may prevent me from missing, prevent me from being hurt, it just simply leaves you alone at the starting line while the race is being run. Try! Engage! Risk! Love!