The Archer

A parable.

There was a young archer who was winning competition after competition. Riding high on success he challenged the old master to a test of skills.

The young archer let the first arrow loose and it landed dead center of the bullseye. The second found its way home too.

Ha! Beat THAT, if you can!” he boasted.

The master smiled nodding his head slowly. “Impressive. Let’s take a walk,” he said as he headed towards the nearby mountain.

Up they climbed all afternoon. The master said nothing. The young challenger grew more curious.

They finally reached a deep chasm with an old fallen tree acting as a natural bridge. The master calmly strode to the middle of the log, called a distant tree as his target, took aim, and let the arrow fly.

Dead center of a tiny knot in the trunk.

The master walked back to solid ground, and said, “Now you.”

The challenger looked at how far he would fall if he made a single mistake with his footing, and knew he wouldn’t even walk out on the log let alone shoot the arrow.

The master said patiently,

“You have much skill with your weapon, but none with the mind that controls it.”