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Monday, October 28, 2013

The King's Arrows

Psalm 127:3-4Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. 
A wise King has entrusted to me a beautiful gift. A quiver He’s given me, and there are seven arrows inside. He tells me to see that the arrows are well tended; one day I will return them to Him to use as He will. If I am faithful in this, He promises they will not miss their mark. I hold them with reverence, for though drab in appearance, with splintered wooden shafts and dull, uneven tips, I glimpse in them the glory of the One who fashioned them. With care these arrows may be wrought straight and true; a perfect fit to whatever purpose they are aimed. Treasuring them, I always consult the wise King in order to better understand their makeup and the skills necessary to their keeping. Being their Maker, He alone knows what is needed to ensure their great success. Keeping my whetstone close at hand, I sharpen the arrowheads and oil the shafts each day, cutting and grinding them to remove even the slightest degree of curve. An imperceptibly curved shaft, though it begin its journey from the bow with promise, will slowly leave the intended path over the course of flight and so never find the target. 
There comes a day when I awake tired. The diligent keeping of the arrows has become a drudgery as day after day I tend them with no thought to my own comfort. My neighbours have also been given arrows by the King. Observing them, I compare their many comforts to my own meagre supply. It is a wonder they have time to so look to their own desires. Curious, I enquire of them what method they employ in the tending of their arrows. It is then that I learn of the Keepers, a noble group who hire themselves out to the tending of the King’s arrows. The Keepers claim that arrows in their care will turn out truer than could ever be attained without their aid. Insisting that their help is necessary to the arrows’ proper development, they say they care for each arrow as though it was their own. The thought excites me; perhaps with the Keepers I can continue to shape my arrows yet still have time to devote to my own pursuits. I would gladly hand over my arrows to their willing hands but one thing stops me; almost have I forgotten to consult the wise King. At His prompting I gather my arrows, journeying to the land where the Keepers’ arrows are made ready for release. Here I might observe the fruit of all their labour.
I see here arrows beyond number, drawn by hired bowmen. Beautifully formed they are straight and true, with tips razor sharp. I rejoice at the sight but the joyful shout dies upon my lips as I see their dreadful target! Running from bowman to bowman I shout for them to lower their bows. Unheeding, they await the signal to release the terrible arrows and send them swiftly to their mark. I rush to the Keepers, imploring them to stay this madness, but they perceive not the arrows’ true goal, believing them to be aimed at noble targets. My eyes, however, are not so unseeing - they are aimed at the wise King Himself! Clearly these arrows have been fashioned for a single purpose which even the Keepers have not understood. Here I can see a force of evil, hidden and undetected, which drives Keeper and bowman alke. It is plain the Keepers have not consulted with the wise King in the keeping of the arrows. Denying His very existence they have preferred instead to consult their own wisdom. Thus they have created arrows whose sole purpose is to pierce the heart of the One who first formed them. This I know brings great sorrow to the King for He knows that once released the arrows will perish and be lost forever. This fact alone grieves Him most.

I begin to weep as a Keeper turns to me. Espying my seven arrows he asks if I will give them over to him. I hold tightly to that which only moments before I had been ready to release into hostile hands. With great resolve I determine never to allow any hand save mine, and that under the King’s great guidance, to prepare my arrows for their ultimate release. Their goal, too, will be the heart of the King, but their purpose lies with Him and none other. In that great purpose my precious arrows will never perish.

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