GG sinned last night.
Gail Garmin, the 2-day-old newest addition to our technology family, was put to the test. Arm-wrestling with MapQuest, she tried to convince us to turn left when the rest of us knew we should turn right. She went down. But taking her youth into consideration, we cut her some slack on her debut venture and quietly turned right anyway. She took it well, with minimal backtalk, and moved forward in recalculating a new course based on our right turn.
But the point is: Gail missed the mark. That’s the Greek definition of sin—hamartia—to miss the mark, and so not share in the prize. Eckhart Tolle explains it this way:
“To sin means to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus to suffer and cause suffering.”
Oh, how I hate to miss the point. I like bottom lines; cuts to the chase; gists of the matter. Tell me what you really mean and chisel away the chit-chat. So to consider my sin as missing the point—that hurts.
Pick a random sin, say, anything from the Big Three (desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes, and pride in possessions), and see how it misses the point. One of my hard-set areas is losing my pleasant demeanor amidst unexpected detours, unless they are detours of my own choosing (such as playing on the “enter net”—my new favorite spelling of accurate depiction per the 5th grade Bible class—instead of writing lesson plans).
How is it missing the point when I become grouchy at distractions? If the point of my existence is to glorify the Father, which it is, then when I detour from said goal, through snippety replies to valid questions from my daughter or heavy sighs at legitimate requests from my husband, the Father is definitely not being glorified. I’m going left when he wants me to turn right. It not only causes suffering for the recipient of my frustration, but I also end up feeling bad on my now longer, more round-about journey to building healthy relationships.
So I will play with Eckhart Tolle’s definition of sin for awhile longer as I continue reading “A New Earth” and see if there’s much else I can agree with him on. I admit a preconceived bias against the book; I’ve challenged Tolle to prove that he’s worthy of my reading time. If he has a grand point to make, he better make it early on if he wants me to continue reading.
In the meantime, Ms. GG has hit the mark every time since her original miscalculation. And in her defense, if we had turned left earlier, we still could have wound around and arrived at the correct destination. But it would have taken longer, and distracted me from thinking so much about missing the point.