Don’t Miss Your Shot
During one of our mountain trips, while my daughter Journey was fishing, we spotted a bald eagle perched on a tree branch on the other side of the pond. It was too far of a distance to take a good picture, so I decided to take the walk to the other side to get closer. I kept my eye on the eagle as I rounded the pond and hoped it wouldn’t fly away before I got there. Once I neared the spot, I looked down for a few seconds just to make sure there were no snakes in the high grass surrounding the tree. When I looked back up, the eagle was gone. Disappointed, I turned to walk away. Journey yelled, from across the pond, “take the picture.” I yelled back, “it’s gone. Still, she kept pointing and saying that it was there. I knew she was wrong. I was standing right next to the tree and the branch was empty. Besides, a big bald eagle is not something you miss. I turned to walk away and she yelled even louder and kept pointing. I was sure she was seeing a leaf formation or something, because the eagle wasn’t there. Then I heard a loud noise and the eagle swooped down and flew off. It had been there all along.
When I walked back, Journey asked me why I couldn’t see it, since I was standing so close to it. I said, “Well Journey, I lost sight of the eagle when I took my eyes off it. Then, when I looked back again, I was looking too low, I didn’t look high enough.”
The words no more left my mouth when I realized, this is a great lesson. Sometimes we take our eyes off the promises for us because we are afraid of snakes in the grass. We let fear intimidate us and we lose focus on what we are striving for. When we decide to look again, we look too low. I make the mistake of not looking high enough. The eagle had never moved, it was there the entire time, but I took my eyes off to check for snakes. Fear will always stand between you and what you love.
In the Movie the Village, a group of people live in what seems to be the late 1800’s in a small settlement surrounded by Covington woods. They have lived their entire existence in that village afraid to leave for fear of a legend that tells of monsters existing in the woods. Red is a forbidden color for it attracts the monsters, so no red is allowed in the village. When red flowers bloom, they immediately pick and bury the blossoms. Yellow is the color of protection so the keepers of the borders wear yellow cloaks and feel safe. From time-to-time livestock will be slaughtered and scratches appear on the doors of homes indicating that the monsters have entered the village and are on the prowl. This only happens if the borders were breached. The guilty citizen often confesses out of extreme fear and swears to never enter the woods again.
One day tragedy falls in the idyllic town and medicine is needed that they do not have. A young blind girl volunteers to go into the woods and to the closest town to get medicine to save the man’s life. He is her fiancé, and she loves him dearly. If you haven’t watched the movie then I warn you, the next few lines will be a spoiler alert. The young girl is told a secret her father has kept for years. There are no monsters in the woods. They are fabricated to keep people from leaving the village because the founding fathers do not believe the world is safe. All The founding fathers had suffered some kind of tragedy in the real world and had relocated to a remote wilderness, establishing what they felt was a safe haven for their families and future generations. In a sense, the citizens of the village are imprisoned by fear and are stuck in a life where they cannot move forward. They live an 1800 lifestyle when the world around them in the twentieth century.
The movie is a powerful example of fear keeping your world small. Fear entraps you, causes you to give up certain things because it tricks you into believing they are bad and will bring harm to your life. Fear says, don’t leave the safety of the village because there are monsters in the woods that want to eat you. So, you stay in your small world and never venture out. Yet in truth, the monsters are not real, only fabricated stories whispering their ghostly tales in your ears and keeping you cowed down in terror. Once you face fear, and call it out of its hiding place, you can get out of yours.
I heard it said that our fear gives the lion it’s fierceness. If we run scared it chases after us, but if we stare it in the face, it’s nothing more than a kitten. Fear is a farce. It is nothing more than a bully trying to intimidate us to back down, turn tail and run in the opposite direction of our dreams. But if you stare back into its empty eyes, you discover that it is really terrified of you. It is a monster of your own making. Better yet, don’t acknowledge fear at all. Don’t look for it, keep your eyes on your goal so you never miss the perfect shot!