Monday, December 27, 2010

What's YOUR Bullseye?

Random mental 'overspray' from a short time ago, wending west on I-90 after a brief trip to the suburbs; a.k.a. the Percolator version of "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey"---who, I believe is an actual person; but I digress...

OK, so if Life is a journey with definite starting and ending points, one must be going somewhere. *Clouseau accent* Is it not so? One could delineate two aspects...the Journey and the Destination...connected, yes, but disparate.

Depending on one's Point of View, mind set, hierarchy of values, or whatever label you use to identify What You're About, you may emphasize the importance of the Destination over the Journey, or vice versa. But how often do we really think this through?

At this time of year, i.e., the end of the calendar year, when literal and cyber-mailboxes bear tidings from far-flung family and friends, I tend to take stock-or at least make a stab at it.

One thing I've noticed *"Profound" alert* is that as people keep inhaling and exhaling, time passes, we all get older, and things run down [I think academic people call this entropy]. These run-downs can be failing health, failed relationships, or readjusted aspirations. They may be, rather than run-downs, let-downs. [N.B. Mrs. Goodenough in Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, upon seeing a disappointing excuse-for-a-duchess - "WHAT a LETdown!!!]

In fact, I would go so far as to say that let-downs and run-downs are inevitable and inescapable...and think how insufferable are those people we run into now and then who have yet to be tempered by life's trials? Eeeeeeesh!

Both the Journey and the Destination are important...but I think it only just now occurs to me how easily I misread and misjudge the life trajectory of others, not to mention myself.

What's going on while we're hurtling through space, nodding off, or frantically trying to make course-corrections? What are we even aiming at? And is it a worthy goal? How much attention should we pay to the apparent goals of others, when we really have no control over anyone's but our own?

I think of an e-mail I just read, confirming that the headlight of terminal cancer looms closer and closer in the tunnel for a man with young adult children and tiny grandbabies. There no more brakes to apply, nor remedies to attempt. The only 'suspense' left is when the call will come for this godly man to step into God's presence. It's the destination he's been living for...the destination he'll find himself in when this life is past. But on the way, he and those who love him are seared with pain and sorrow that seem unendurable.

Or the well-known maxi-family whose day-to-day life with one and a half dozen offspring is chronicled weekly on a popular reality TV series. Good grief, what is it with these people, many ask. Since I'm not a member of this clan, I can only surmise, but I don't think they're about flaunting the size of their carbon footprint. I think they're aiming at a bullseye that few would consider valid: not acquiring credentials or property or influence...but forming and molding eternal beings who are living testimonies of what is right and good. Not making the mark all the time; not a foolproof recipe; but an honest, all-in effort that will be shown to be worthy.

And me...what of my own journey? More than half over, no doubt. Expected mix of sweet and sour, high and low...but is my focus clear?

And what's MY bullseye?