When I was a child I loved testing out the rifle-shooting games in arcades. And though I was typically right-handed, I usually shot left-handed. When I was young shooting left-handed was probably trying something new. When I was a teen I thought shooting left-handed was me being unique. As an adult I realized that I shot left-handed because I was left-eye dominant. I saw better shooting left handed. I shot better left-handed.
Yesterday was the TreeHouse trap-shooting fundraiser, Shoot For Hope. More than 150 shooters tested their skills, shared their stories and enjoyed the company of their friends. There were several skilled women shooting, but most of the shooters were men. As I watched I marveled at their skills, I appreciated their patience and I enjoyed their friendly banter.
I admired the great shooters. I fantasized I could out-shoot those who struggled. You know what I liked best? I liked when I saw the 10% that shot left-handed.
Why? Probably because I’m like most guys.
Do I Have What It Takes?
John Eldredge explained in his book Wild at Heart that every man and every boy is asking one core question: “Do I have what it takes?” It’s why, when boys ride their bikes with no hands, or learn to do a back flip on the trampoline, they often want an audience. And all that crazy stuff young men do—cliff-jumping into the river, riding motorcycles, all the competition of sports—that is fueled by the same drive.
Deep down it’s the same for most of us.
– We want acceptance.
– We want to be noticed.
– We want to be recognized for our strengths.
Eldredge explains, “that is the expression of a man’s need for validation. Do I have what it takes? is a core question to be sure, and…the vital question of the masculine journey. But there is a deeper and prior need, one that comes first — in this stage — and one that must be met first, or the boy cannot move with confidence into any of the other stages.
A boy yearns to know that he is prized.
How does your heart immediately respond to the question Am I prized?
“Am I prized?” “Do I have what it takes?” Does it matter?” How would you answer that?
Well, here’s a hint how I would answer that question. When I had questions about shooting I asked my friend Paul Robey. Why ask Paul? Paul is an excellent shooter and has been an award-winning shooter. He’s “prized.” If I ever competed, I’d want to be prized too.
Adapted from John Eldredge’s Fathered By God Personal and Group Study Guide