The ancient Greeks used the word ἁμαρτία (hamartia) to describe those moments when we are less than perfect – those times when we fail. It has moral overtones to be sure, but literally, it means “to miss the mark.” It is an archery term. Its use suggests that when we err, we somehow miss the target we were shooting for.
Ancient Greek theater geeks and theologians will recognize this as the word we’ve translated for a few millennia as “to sin,” but I like to point out the more dynamic definition of this term whenever I’m in a conversation with someone who focuses more acutely on some fabricated list of individual failings than the target itself.
We all miss the mark, but I can say this with certainty; it is better to have loosed the arrow.