Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dartboards and Danger

When I was a wee lad, one of my all-time favorite memories is my parents coming home with a dart board. Now, before you get your pantalones in a bundle, keep in mind that this was a harmless, plastic dartboard with non-pointed darts. However, it did make me super stoked to know that I was doing something that reflected a fairly dangerous game.

For real though, have we ever stopped and thought about how dangerous the game of darts is? You take solid metal needles and throw them at a tiny cork board from about 6 feet away. One small slip and someone's going to be adding an eyepatch to their shopping list for the week.

I grew up going to AWANAs. If you don't know what that is, please beg your church to start one. This children's ministry taught me a lot about Christianity in these wee years, and I am forever grateful. However, as much good as it served in my life, I must be honest about its shortcomings.

I learned, at this young age, that "sin" was defined as "missing the mark." To this, I would agree. But along with this description, I was also shown a picture as a child. To my memory, it was a picture of an arrow missing the bullseye on a target. Considering my rich history in darts, however, this isn't altogether a bad thing. Sure, you always want to hit the bullseye, but you still get points and could potentially win if your darts land elsewhere on the board.

"We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment." (Isaiah 64)
Let me tell you something about polluted garments. You ain't winning with them. You ain't even getting close to playing the game in them. And if even our best actions on our best days are regarded as dirty before this Holy God, our sin must be the very essence of evil. So to put it right, we are not only missing the mark or the bullseye; we're missing the entire board. Our dart doesn't even hit the same wall where the board is hung. We don't get any consolation prizes for getting close to the bullseye because we've missed it by a mile.

See where I'm getting at?

We're totally, unforgettably, undeniably, limitlessly, and infinitesimally sinful. Before the righteousness of a Holy God, the only totality we maintain is that of a perfect storm: totallywretched, through and through. Once we understand the gravity of how broken we are, we will understand why it took such a big sacrifice to put us back together. My point in all this is not to make you feel condemned - we are absolutely covered by the blood of Christ (if you are saved) and can approach the throne of grace with boldness. (Heb. 4) My point is to remind us not look upon sin lightly, as a boy who was taught all his life that he was simply "missing the mark."

We're not just missing it, we don't even have the strength to throw the dart.


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