7. There’s biblical application everywhere (Romans 1:20).

Mealtime brought opportunities for selflessness and politeness. The high ropes course illustrated trust and security. Activity classes bred the confidence of success for God's glory. The whole system was based on service, sharing, and community. But my favorite application was this one, which I penned for my girlfriend (now my wife) as she was moving away from me for graduate school:

I used to teach archery at camp in Texas. It’s the kind of sport where it’s not hard to find a few life metaphors: hitting the target, nailing the bull’s-eye, missing the mark... But in the arrow itself, I found a wealth of lessons. It’s such a simple, effective, and elegant weapon with its sleek shaft and colorful feathers, but it can’t function without help. It needs the bow in order to reach its potential, to drive it forward, or it is worthless.

The arrow also has been prevalent in my doodles for as long as I can remember, probably due to its symbolic significance in direction and guidance. But take a close look at the feathers – do you notice how one, the one facing outward, is a different color? That’s called the cock feather. It’s unique in that it must face away from the bow, or outward, in order to fly straight when shot.

As Christians, too often we cover up what’s different about ourselves, and we wind up missing the mark, or sinning. When our unique side faces outward for the world to see on the other hand, we fly straight and true, exploding towards the target in a glorious burst of color.

What is unique and different about you, Valerie? Your faith, poise, depth, and grace to name a few. Keep those true colors facing boldly outward; trust the Lord’s aim as He pulls back the string; fly straight. Choose the right targets, and you can’t miss.

Shawn McEvoy is the Managing Editor of Crosswalk.com... thanks in no small part to the three summers he spent as part of a tremendous staff at Pine Cove.

Original publication date: June 1, 2011