by Troy Lindgram
I squirmed back and forth a little bit trying to find that just right comfortable position on the bench and around the rifle. As I peered through the scope at the paper target down range, I toggled off the safety with my thumb. With my index finger resting against the trigger guard, I lined up the crosshairs with the center of the target. I squeezed the trigger and “Bam!”—down range sizzled the .308 bullet! “Smack!” It hit up and left.
That was the first rifle shot on a range I’d made in twenty years or more. What I learned later as I worked on smoothing my trigger pull and eliminating a flinch was that my scope was out of adjustment. A good scope is important, but a correctly adjusted scope is even more important. This helps you see clearly what is far away. With it skewed one way or the other, you don’t hit where you’re looking. When my teacher adjusted my scope I started creeping closer and closer to the center ‘til I was hitting in the inner ring.
“I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.” Psalm 119:7 (ESV)
As a follower of Jesus, I realize that something very near that happens as I grow closer to Him. This Psalm shows a similar experience as the writer draws near to God. He opens with praise directed toward God from an upright heart. That is, he praises God, with a heart that is right! Just like correcting my trigger squeeze and adjusting my scope led to inner ring hits, so also does learning the righteous rules of God bring me closer to Him. There are two teachers for godly living. One is the Holy Spirit and His prompting. The other is the Word of God through which He speaks.
These teachers showed me my sinfulness and need for the righteousness and forgiveness of God through Jesus’ work on the cross. Second, they lead me to a lifetime of praise through getting to know Him and His ways, conforming to them and exulting in His marvelous Grace!
God bless and good shooting!