Rise to the Occasion

Ready Elisha responded, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he got a bow and arrows. Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So the king put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. Elisha said, “Open the east window.” So he opened it. Elisha said, “Shoot!” So he shot. Then Elisha said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, yes, the arrow of victory over Aram. You are to strike down the Arameans in Aphek until you have put an end to them.” Then Elisha said, “Take the arrows!” So he took them. Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” So he struck the ground three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times. Then you would have struck down Aram until you had put an end to them, but now you will only strike down Aram three times.” 2 Kings 13:15-19

It was an ancient custom to shoot an arrow or cast a spear into the country which an army intended to invade. We see this in college football when the Florida State Seminole rider hurls the spear into the ground or when the USC Trojan warrior pierces the soil with his sword.

An open window in the pasage above symbolizes a variety of opportunities that come to us during the course of a competitive contest. The release of the arrow in this opportune moment is our ability to capitalize on the opportunity and turn into a surge of momentum for the team. The bow and arrow represent the strategic development of our talents and deployment of our assignments.

We have to learn as a player (the arrow) to come under the authority of our coaches (the bow) and remember that we will not achieve our highest goals without the tension of the bow pulling back on the arrow. That tension shows up in many ways in our life: preparation, conditioning, correction, discipline, etc. The greater the tension the greater the potential that can be realized. As the arrow, how far do you want to go in sports and in life? The distance of your life's aim is controlled by a number of factors.

The string must be taunt in order to provide proper trajectory. Without the taunt discipline and training you will not succeed in hitting the mark in life. The shaft of the arrow must be as "straight as an arrow". Your character counts and the core of your character is to be shaped after following Christ. The tip of the arrow must be sharp. Our lives cannot afford to be dulled down by mediocrity or peer pressure. The feathers on the back of the arrow offer guidance for the arrow in flight.

It is important to place in your life good guidance from Godly leaders who will ultimatley help your "arrow" reach its mark.

  1. Discuss a time when you were a part of a game where your team or an opponent capitalized on an opportunity. How did that affect the outcome?
  2. In what ways has a coach put tension on you that helped bring out the best of you or more than you thought you were capable of?
  3. In what other ways does the bow and arrow speak to you about the development of your life, and abilities?
Workout Luke 22:39-46, Psalm 127:3-5