Down Range

I had just finished wiping down the barrel on the old .22 caliber rifle. The gun had belonged to my grandfather, then my father, and now I was ready to pass it to my son. The old wood stock shined like new with the fresh cleaning I had just given it. I tightened the screws on the new scope and she was ready to go.



We loaded up in the truck and headed to the range. My son was pumped. He had never fired a rifle before and I was excited to introduce him. We drove up to the range and his eyes lit up. I could tell he was nervous, but when I asked him if he was ready to get out he excitedly replied “Yes!”


We got set up on the shooting bench and laid out the weapon. I adjusted the stool so he was at the right height and adjusted the gun rest so he was comfortable. We walked through the entire gun and he had to explain what each part was and how it functioned. We reviewed the rules of engagement and our gun safety commandments.


Eyes and ears were on. The gun was loaded. He was ready. He aimed some fifty yards down range at the target card, clicked the safety off and placed his finger on the trigger and squeezed. The .22 caliber rifle popped to life as the bullet screamed down the range.


“Were you aiming at the target?” I asked him.


“Yes” He answered.


I couldn’t see any marks on the board.


“Try it again” I said.


He steadied himself, peering through the scope.


“Put the cross hairs right on the center of the target.” I said.


Bang! Another round down range, but still no hit.


I picked up the gun and looked through the scope myself. I centered up the target in my sights and pulled the trigger.


“Low and left” I muttered.


Seemed the new scope that I had installed wasn’t even close to close.


I sat down and started tweaking the sights. After about six more shots and a couple twists on the dial I had it dead on center.


“Now try” I told him.


He settled in, squeezed and boom! Bullseye!


He almost dropped the gun as he reached over to give me a high-five. Now we were cooking.

That’s the thing about sighting in a rifle. Until you pull the trigger and take a shot you have no idea how much or how little you need to adjust your aim. Chasing your purpose is much the same. Sometimes we can get so locked down in analyzing our options that we become paralyzed and can’t move.


If you’re chasing a dream, or pursing a calling, or even just simply trying to make tomorrow better than today, the truth is, you’re going to have to take a shot in order to figure out which adjustment you need to make. You’ve got to find the courage to take action so that you can evaluate what to do next. Stop getting stuck in the “what if’s” of life and move. Its the only way to sight in a rifle, and it’s the only way to find your next step in whatever journey you’re on.