He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me, through whom I will show my glory.
In Part 1, we covered that we are meant to be a “Polished Arrow” in the Lord’s quiver. If we are surrendered and obedient to Him, He can use us as a vessel for His power and purposes at a moments notice to accomplish His will. We covered the basic components of a Polished Arrow as an analogy to the Spiritual Life. In Part 2, Lent is a good time to reflect on the making (preparation) of a Polished Arrow that would be fit for the Lord’s Quiver.
I have read or listened to a number of really good Christian theologians and speakers on this topic of being a “Polished Arrow” for the Lord. One of the best is Jeff Cavins’ DVD/CD on this subject, called: “Polished Arrow – The Process of Conforming Your Life to Christ” based on Is 49:2-3. I would highly recommend watching this excellent teaching if this topic moves you. One thing is clear: that the making of a strong and straight arrow that will consistently allow the Archer to “hit the mark” with this arrow is often a drawn-out process that has amazing parallels to our life in Christ as a disciple. As one writer put it: “In the hands of an Old Testament archer, a piece of wood went through a long and time-consuming process before it became a polished arrow. Even now, the process requires great patience. Precision arrows cannot be made in haste.”
There is a process of taking the original piece of wood, and cutting errant branches (major sin), pruning smaller excess branches (lesser sins), stripping off the bark (ways of the flesh), and removing knots (strongholds) and burrs (bad habits). Next, the wood needs to be shaped through significant sanding (making the crooked places straight), and soaked in water to expose the wood grain (we soak in the water of the Holy Spirit to reveal the inner workings, thoughts and imaginations of the heart that must be banished if we want God to use us). More sanding and soaking follow until the arrow is exactly the right size and shape. Another writer says: “This, of course, is a humbling and painful process, but without it we would fail to fly straight or hit the mark. Skipping steps and cutting corners will produce inferior arrows that are useless. Character development is vital if we want to be useful arrows.”
Next, the Archer (our Heavenly Father) places the arrow in his quiver for a prescribed period of time – a waiting room – that will prove whether the arrow will bow or warp. The quiver is a very dark and lonely place where we may feel frustrated as if nothing is being accomplished. If you stay in the waiting room until God takes you out, you will prove to be of great value and accomplish exactly what He has called you to do. We know as Catholics and Cursillistas, Lent is an important time of introspection and preparation. Let God use this time to continue His work in you towards becoming a Polished Arrow, to enable God’s Divine Purpose for your life.
In Part 3, we will cover The Engagement of a Polished Arrow, as an Easter reflection on truly being a vessel of God’s resurrection power in and through your life – which is the ultimate goal of discipleship and making a difference for Christ in the world.
By Bill Bojan