Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

Arrows: Don’t Lead Home Without Them

Photo credit: Mr. T in DC / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

You can’t lead without arrows.  We can’t do much of anything without arrows.  Arrows symbolize direction.

Without direction, we will be like “mists driven by a storm.”¹

(Click here to Tweet that!)

You can’t fly a jet without arrows.  Pilots conduct extensive briefs before every flight using arrows to represent exactly how to gain an advantage over the adversary.

You can’t drive a car without arrows.  How else will you know which way to turn?

You can’t write a post without arrows.  Which button moves the cursor down?

Today we’ll take a quick look at arrows from a past, present, and future perspective.

  1. Past.  Historically, physical arrows were used as weapons in battle.  They were the precursor to modern-day artillery.  The bow and arrows provided a surface-to-surface weapon which extended the range of attacking armies and exploited gaps in enemy defenses.  Leading an army without archers, and without arrows, would have been disastrous. 
  2. Present.  Today we use arrows as symbols to point us in a particular direction.  They show us where to look, tell us where to go, and instruct us how to move.  Leaders use arrows to create focus and guide their team in a desired direction.
  3. Future.  In the future, arrows represent our influence on future generations.  The psalmist writes in Psalm 127:4-5:

arrows“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”²

Blogger and former CEO of Thomas Nelson Michael Hyatt connects direction and leadership in his post “7 Ways a Life Plan Is Like a GPS System.”

Every leader must have a plan. Before there was GPS, there were maps.  But without a north seeking arrow, a map is useless.  In order to avoid wandering aimlessly through life, we need two things:

  1. A point of reference
  2. Direction

Our children are like arrows in our quiver.  We must teach them where they stand, and in which direction to face.

(Click here to Tweet that!)

We must carefully point them toward the target.  We must draw back the bow and prepare them for launch, infusing each child with energy and the potential for greatness.  Eventually, we must release the string and let them fly.

They will undoubtedly stray from the target.  Gusts of wind, imperfections in their feathers, and moving targets will challenge them to stay on course. Fighter jets have heat-seeking missiles which update their course to follow the heat source of a target.

arrows

We must make our children like target seeking arrows.  But what is the target, and how will they seek it when bumped off the flight path?

I suggest we make the target truth itself.  If they continually aim for truth, all other targets will fall in line. We can do this by modifying our child-arrows with a worldview filter upgrade to their seeker-head assembly, and integrating it with their internal steering system.

In other words,

Teach them how to discern truth from fiction, and encourage them to always steer towards truth.

If you want to be an effective leader and parent, here are three arrows to put in your quiver:

  • Find the right path.
  • Show others the way.
  • Help them when they stray.

What other arrows would you add?

Related Posts

¹The Holy Bible: New International Version, 2 Pe 2:17 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984).

²The Holy Bible: New International Version, Ps 127:4–5 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984).

Photo credit: Mr. T in DC / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

By US Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

3 Replies

  1. Sue Nash

    I would add – pray for them along the way! Blessings, Jason. I enjoy your perspectives.

    1. yes, the prayer arrow is a must have!