Most people don’t want to be target practice. In fact, it seems that, in our own ways, each goes to incredible lengths to blend in, be part of the crowd, and go along with the flow. Finding one’s path in the midst of competing interests, demands, and desires is difficult. Do I compromise or stand firm? Do I bend or remain tall? Do I go with the mass or swim across or against the current? Anything that is not part of the massive middle will cause one to stand out, be different, and draw fire. It is as if one has a choice with one alternative including a big bull’s eye.
I do realize that anyone who wants to get ahead, revel in success, or achieve the top rung of the ladder will automatically be faced with an obvious choice. One does not achieve these things by blending in. Success comes with being different, in some way. The “best” do not follow a “me-to” strategy.
During the past few days I have met several people that are prime targets. They are different. They can be very unique. They also understand their area of expertise. Results, challenges, creativity, politics, and purpose are all part of their mantras. Yet you can see in their eyes how they also know that they are someone’s target practice.
Even in the old stories those who brought good, reached out, and exercised compassion became targets. One simple question and answer is filled with venom, anger, jealousy, spite, and a bit of revenge.
“‘So where is he?’
‘I don't know.’” (John 9.12)
I like success. I think I hold the mercy, compassion, and equality close to my heart. Yet I wonder how long I am willing to be someone’s target. Wouldn’t it be easier to blend in and go with the flow? It might be easier but, and it is a big but, real success is defined by relationships. Our relationship with God and with each other is the heart of life. Being a target is the least I can do today.
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