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By Steve Higginbotham
August 23, 2004
I love the Olympics. I always
have. I canít help but be impressed with the level of dedication
it must have taken to develop the athletic abilities that these
athletes possess. I also must admit that Nationalism runs deep
within me. I want the USA to take as many medals as possible. I
also find the Olympics interesting because they nearly always
contain some drama; some human interest story that teaches us a
valuable life lesson. Yesterday, just such a lesson was taught.
His name is Matt Emmons. He is an American
marksman with the rifle. Sunday, he was shooting in the final
round of the 50 meter three position rifle competition. He had
such a commanding lead, he only needed an average shot with his
final shot in order to win the Gold Medal. As he squeezed off the
final round, not only did he get close, he scored a bulls eye! As
he waited to see his name posted on the scoreboard as the new
Olympic Gold Medalist, he was shocked to see that he was given a
score of zero, and instead of winning the Gold Medal, he was in
The reason? He had shot at the wrong target!
Though he had hit the bulls eye, he had hit the target in the
wrong lane. How disappointing and frustrating this must be for
this young man.
But wait, heís not alone. His mistake is a
common one. Not a day goes by when people arenít taking careful
aim at the wrong target. I think it could be said that nearly all
of us wish to find fulfillment and happiness in life. I think that
most of us wish to avoid Hell and live with God in Heaven. On the
surface, that sounds great, but the problem is that we are aiming
at the wrong targets. Weíre taking aim at things that do not
deliver our heartís desires.
Today, I feel badly for Matt Emmons. He worked
so hard. He was so skilled. He had such desire. But he aimed at
the wrong target and missed his Gold Medal. However, as badly as I
feel for this young man, I feel worse for those people who want to
serve the Lord. They want to go to Heaven. They work so hard in
their service to him, only to find out that they had aimed at the
wrong target and have missed out on the Crown of Life!
"Not everyone who says to me, ĎLord, Lordí
shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my
Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21).
Copyright © 2004, South Green Street Church of Christ,
Permission is granted to copy these articles.