Do you recognize the name Matthew Emmons? Most probably do not. His story is unprecedented and has much to teach us. Participating in the 50-meter three-position rifle event at the 2004 Olympics, Emmons needed to only hit the target in order to walk away a gold medalist!
However, while standing in lane two, he fired his rifle at the target in lane three. His score for hitting the wrong target? ZERO! Rather than going home a gold medal winner, he came in eighth place.
The lesson for us in this is that it doesn't matter how precise we are if we are aiming at the wrong goal.
As parents, many of us are cross-firing. We have lost sight of our goal. It is important to reevaluate what we are doing with the end goal in mind.
It’s easy to think the goal is a clean house, our kids making good grades, or managing our children in such a way that they never misbehave and/or embarrass us. We can convince ourselves that the goal is top performance in sports, exercising regularly, or eating only non-processed foods.
There are so many targets before us, but let’s not be fooled like Matthew Emmons. While many of these things are important, they are not the goal at which we should aim.
Our goal is to love the LORD our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength. That is what we are to impress on our children – so much so that we talk about it when we are sitting at home, when we are driving along the road, when we lay down at night, and when we wake up in the morning.
As each of us take aim at the goal, lets allow Deuteronomy 6 to help us calibrate our shot:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:5-9