By Gary Miller
At some point during each hunt I find myself going through the scenario of seeing a deer. Before that scenario, I make sure I have taken my rangefinder and marked the yardage in the shooting lanes that I have. The last thing I want to do is guess the distance of my shot. There will be too much going on in that few seconds without having to think about something that can be determined beforehand. But once I determine my yardage, I focus on what I’m going to do if a buck presents me with an opportunity.
There a several things that make that list, but for me I have to continually tell myself to follow-through. Follow-through in archery means to make sure I do not drop my bow or my shooting hand too soon after the shot. The natural response is to drop both to see if the shot hit its target. The problem is that if you drop too soon, the arrow drops as well – and you miss. Follow-through means staying on the target even while the arrow has left the bow. It is crucial and it is especially crucial to me since I have a tendency to neglect this important lesson.
Follow-through is not only important in archery; nearly every sport has some part or position that requires its participant to follow-through. The golf swing demands a clean follow-through. The quarterback or kicker will be as accurate as their follow-through. And the basketball player’s shot will only be successful if he or she has completed each effort with a consistent follow-through. In one sense you can say, “It doesn’t matter how you start; you are only as good as how you finish.” Drop off too soon and you miss everything.
Every time I think of following through I think of my Christian life. I have been following Jesus for a long time and even though I have missed some targets, I have consistently made it my desire to continue the pursuit. Not only do I see the value, I know of nowhere else to go. But even though my track record of following Jesus is long; it will all be in vain if I neglect to follow-through. Now, I’m not talking about losing my salvation, but I'm talking about losing my influence and losing the decades of investments I have made into this life of faith. No matter what I have done in the past, the stamp of a life well-lived will come as I finish the course. It will come as I follow-through on all I have started in my faith’s past.
Some of you right now are flirting with something that will cause you to not follow-through. Back away, go through the scenarios, and remind yourself that success will only come as you finish strong in what you started in Christ.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.