Years ago, I played my first game of paintball. I was the guest speaker at Shepherd of the Ozarks, and they had this paintball course on the steep side of a mountain in rugged thick woods.
For years afterward, the folks at Shepherd used me as an illustration of what NOT to do on a paintball course.
The first thing I learned was that in paintball size is NOT an asset. They shoot the big guys first. Second,wearing a white t-shirt in a paintball game is a monumental mistake. I showed up ready to have a fun game of paintball and everyone else was head to toe in camo. To make it worse, when you are the camp speaker they take special delight in getting you. I might as well have painted a target on my chest.
But one really significant thing emerged. You tend to shoot at what is shooting at you. You often can’t see because the mask is fogged. Paint balls are whizzing through the air. All you can do is get as low as possible and shoot back at whatever is shooting at you.
At one point I got tired of hiding behind trees and just decided to run through the enemy’s camp blasting as many as I could get before they got me. Huge mistake. I jumped up and took off and bullets whizzed all around me. I jumped over a log and look down to see three of the enemy laying there. They couldn’t believe their fortunes. All three swung their guns around, and I did my best imitation of the end scene of the Bonnie and Clyde story. I got hit with so many paint balls that my shirt looked like something you would wear to a Grateful Dead concert.
I had huge bruises the rest of the week. But here’s what I realized. When you go on the offensive you become a target! The enemy will shoot at you when you shoot at him.
Let’s take this a step farther. Have you ever considered that perhaps some of the trouble you face is the result of a spiritual battle? The bible says that we are in a spiritual battle.
(Ephesians 6:12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood
Maybe you are taking some shots because you are doing some good. You feel like someone painted a target on you. That probably means you are getting something done. Stay at it. Don’t quit.