A long time ago you planned to get into shape, exercised your intellectual and creative muscles and set out to win a particular goal. And then one day it happened, it all paid off. Zing! You hit the bulls-eye. You won the prize, got the promotion, found the love of your life, reaped the rewards and it felt good. Bravo for you!
As good as winning can feel, most of life is not about actually hitting the bulls-eye. It’s a little more like hitting the bulls nose or maybe the tail, but the thing is, as far as life is concerned, those efforts might actually be hitting a little more “on the nose” than other things. Setting the goal is good. Working toward the goal is better. But experiencing all that happens in between and allowing it to guide you and shape you into the brilliant creative human being God designed you to be is the best.
We all know the stories of those who persevered. Great scientists seeking to turn on the light or fly a kite or hear the sound of another human voice from a great distance, tried and failed, and luckily for us, tried again and succeeded after monumental efforts. We’ve heard of singers who lived out of their cars or actors who didn’t have one good movie tryout until one day, they suddenly had a chance for the role of a lifetime. We know that some books have hit the market and created a phenomenal stir, catapulting the author into a household name only to finally disappear like so many rock and roll wonders of the early 60’s. Perseverance than is a good thing and usually a key thing when you’re aiming at a bulls-eye.
Just moments ago, it was January and we were gearing up for a new year and setting some new goals, making our resolutions to lose weight or become more of what we want ourselves to be. Now, it’s already April and the first third of the year is quickly slipping away. Where are you on those resolutions? If you’re anything like me, you’re already sizing things up, the long term goals still looming, the short term goals already accomplished or soon to be. You’re hitting the mark sometimes and missing by a mile other times.
The point is, where are you? Are you so focused on the goal, you’re missing the fun you can have at practice, or getting prepared for it? Are you so determined to win some weeks down the road, that today is passing you by without even a nodding glance? Have you had five minutes to say hello to your neighbor, or twenty minutes to simply rest and meditate?
If we’re going to make this year count and really hit it on the nose, then we have to do better than just keeping our eye on the prize. We have to prize each moment that we get to try again, each opportunity to learn something more about ourselves, and persevere in becoming authentically the person we know we are meant to be. Maybe that’s our calling, even more than becoming the COO of a company or winning the Lottery. Maybe the win-win is still nestled into the moments that we let slip away into the breeze and become warm memories.
Let’s notice. Sure keep the target out on the field and keep your arrow poised for the big black circle in the center, but remember that it’s okay if you don’t hit it every time. It’s okay if you get lost noticing the trees or the birds or something that you see beyond the target. That’s the mark. Let the arrow fly then, and follow it wherever it lands. Hey, you may impress yourself in a new way!