I intended on posting about my new hobby quite a while ago. I took up archery after a long time of admiring from a distance and a distant fond memory of the one time in my life when I had shot before. I did some research prior and after a couple of trips to a nearby archery shop (check it out here!) including a lesson, I came home with a great bow and some nice new arrows and learned about a free range near my home that was open dawn to dusk!
I had intended to post this and talk about this new hobby as a fun way to change my focus, to practice improving at something, and to experience the joy of launching something at a target successfully while also knowing there was absolutely no chance of hurting anyone or anything. However, this post changed when I found an amazing opportunity for my son.
Another archery shop near me was offering a multiweek archery workshop for kids that would teach them how to shoot. My son had been excited and asking to join me and shoot his own bow ever since I brought mine home. Finally, I had found an opportunity to make that happen…and it did not disappoint!
My son thoroughly enjoyed his first lesson and since has been asking if it’s Thursday yet so he can go to his next one. He was an excellent listener, respected the instructor and the rules, and had multiple shots hit fairly close to the bulls-eye…he was a natural!
I’ve talked before about my son’s natural social anxiety and his desire to avoid new situations and new people. But, I am proud to report that he managed this well, pushed through his nervousness and even was able to relax and enjoy his time and do well!
So while I think my originally intended post would have been a good one…I’m glad that I waited, because now as I think about my new hobby, I get even more excited at the possibility of passing it down and sharing it with my son. I think about shooting together, improving together, and having a father/son bonding activity that we can do for years to come.
I also think about the Bible verse that talks about children filling out the quiver of their fathers:
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the manPsalm 127:4-5
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
And I think about the interpretation I’ve heard for this verse before really adding some great context…when someone is shooting an arrow, they get to aim it…they decide how much strength they need to use when pulling it back, they decide where it should be aimed, how tight to hold the bow and the arrow’s angle of fire…but once the arrow is fired…there is no longer control…the arrow goes in the direction it has been fired, but there are lots of factors that can determine whether it hits its target or misses. It is a great metaphor for the early years or parenting and us guiding, aiming and trying to take into account all of the factors of the environment we are about to shoot our kids into…yet…once they have been released into the world…all we can do is watch and hope that our aim was good and that they hit somewhere near our/their target.
This is new traditions and hobbies…
This is fatherhood…