I just read an article by USA Today writer Matthew Diebel about a Canadian sniper who killed an ISIS militant more than 2 miles away. 2 miles. 3,450 meters. It took 10 seconds from the time the shot was fired until it struck its intended target, an ISIS militant attacking Iraqi security forces (you can read the full article here). 10 seconds. Anyone who has done any shooting knows what an impossible task hitting a target with a rifle at that range would be. And yet, someone did it. The article quotes the source who revealed the shot, saying, “Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.” The shot was confirmed by several sources.
I love firearms and I always have. I’ve been to the range a good bit over the years, but I can tell you this–I am intimidated when I have to shoot a target 100 yards out. 34 times that far is almost unfathomable to me. And yet, this person accomplished it. How?
They were willing to aim farther.
Now, don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not suggesting that the only reason he hit a potentially moving target from a distance of 2 miles was because he was the only person willing to try, and that somehow his own willingness guaranteed success. Far from it. This is clearly a person who had trained for a long time, and prepared for such a moment. While the specific rifle isn’t mentioned, is was likely a Barrett .50 cal. Whatever it was, it had to be something with the ability to reach out and strike a target that far away. He also likely had a spotter, someone who could help by providing wind readings, ambient temperature, humidity, distance measurements–all of which would increasingly affect the bullet as it travelled that distance. A lot went into being able to accomplish that task.
Every one of us is different, created to be unique. We have our own skills, interests, and passions. God designed us that way. He gives us opportunities to learn, to be stretched, to be equipped for the things He has in mind for us to accomplish. While we have to be careful not to let our ambition exceed our capabilities, the fact remains that many times we are afraid to aim that far downrange. We stay within range of what is comfortable, what is certain, what is a “sure thing.” By doing so, we don’t aim for the far reaches that God has prepared us for.
The famous missionary William Carey said, “Attempt Great things for God, expect great things of God.” We have our part to do, certainly, but we must never forget that it is God who has called us, equipped us, and empowered us to do things beyond what we could ever accomplish on our own. And He usually provides people to help us along the way. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to do it on your own. If He hasn’t already, God will bring people into your life to help you if you’ll ask Him.
I don’t know about you, but I want to see God-sized things. I want to see God do things beyond what you and I could ever accomplish on our own. But we’ll never hit that target if we don’t raise our sights and aim for it.