At archery league last week my husband was giving me pointers, as usual. These unsolicited pointers usually occur because I am doing something incorrectly. I think I have pretty good form. However, I am not consistent in a few things when shooting, one of them being - my anchor point. What is an anchor point some may ask? It is the reference points chosen uniquely by only you that leads to reliable accuracy each time an arrow is released at full draw. It is always touching the bowstring to the tip of your nose at that exact same spot. Or pressing your thumb on the same spot on your check each and every time. Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. The key is to find your rhythm and not change the tune one bit. To stray even just slightly from your anchor point will cause your mark to be missed, the song to be off-tune, the dance to skip a step.
If you watch experienced archers, you can clearly see that they have a rhythm. Their pattern doesn't change at all. They do the same exact thing each time they pull their bow back. It is the same song, same dance that somehow never seems to get old. In fact, the rhythm of it all captures you and invites you to come and learn your own song and dance to be performed over and over.
Webster defines the word "anchor" several ways. One definition includes: "a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor." Another definition: "To fix or fasten: affix firmly". Combine this with the word "point" and waala, you are affixing firmly to a point. The idea is that the more you consistently anchor to the same point, eventually it becomes a habit and you no longer have to tell your brain to concentrate and find that sweet spot.
I actually started this post on Thursday evening after archery league but just couldn't seem to compile my random thoughts into something that made sense. So, I let it sit uncompleted in order to digest it a bit. On Friday morning I had the privilege of listening to Kerry Hasenbalg tell her story of how God carried her through a difficult time in her life. A 37 week pregnancy had come abruptly to an end and her child was delivered stillborn. She told of her struggle to heal the pain and used the illustration of needing an anchor in her life that she could cling to during this time.
There needs to be a place in life that is consistent and true. In a world filled with moral relativism, clinging to ultimate truth becomes a necessary anchor. The swells of life have a way of consuming and inviting us to be swallowed up. An anchor is needed.
Here is the tangible illustration... Apparently, during a hurricane the boats unable to be removed from the sea have the best chance of surviving the storm if they have a sturdy anchor that runs deep and holds strong. But there is more to it than just that. The boats that survive must have a strong anchor, but also be cross tied to another strong object. I love that. Do you get the illustration? We not only need an anchor, but we need each other. Oh, and one more thing... you have to position your boat with it's bow in the direction of the prevailing winds. Face in the wind, friends. Chin up. Knowing your anchor will hold.
WOW! Although I have not been through the pain of loosing a child, I still felt as if God was speaking directly to me saying, "Let me be your anchor for your storms, whatever they may be." My hope is that you've found your anchor point in life. A place where you can consistently come back to time and time again; and that ultimately, you can dance.
Oh, and I've been hearing about my archery anchor point from my husband for quite sometime now. Maybe it is about time I start listening.
From the Draw
A website devoted to sharing bowhunting stories. From the draw in the mountains to the draw on paper, the moments live on.