Have you ever heard of the phrase “a parting shot”?
It is a term from archery and is a distortion of “a Parthian shot.” It was a battle strategy, sometimes used in mock retreat, where mounted archers would turn around and fire a volley of arrows at the enemy.
A parting shot can have a negative connotation, as when King David killed troublemakers before Solomon was inaugurated as king.
However, there are positive applications.
I know of a woman who, for personal reasons, had to leave her church area and live in a remote country area. Before she left, she bought for the congregation a sound system that is used to this day.
A man decided to leave in his will a legacy to his church. Not just as an act of thankfulness, but to show that he is still joined with them in the battle for truth, still supporting their mission.
A minister was re-assigned and determined to tackle a cultural issue that had been hurting his parish for some time so that his successor did not have deal with this issue.
In her last year of school a teenager decided to “come out” as a Christian and invite her classmates to an informal church meeting.
Paul, before he died, wrote his final thoughts to Timothy and Titus in order to strengthen their leadership.
Jesus himself gave the greatest parting shot ever — the Holy Spirit.
Parting shots are not just about what we might do before we die, but they are also about how we end phases in our lives.
What about you? Have you come to the end of a phase of your life, of a job, of a responsibility?
If you have the opportunity to do good, why not do it? What are some positive parting shots you could fire?
By James R. Henderson