Sabbatical Reflections Four: The Fruit of Aiming Well

If you’ve made it this far into my reflections, a few things are probably evident.  I am wrestling but I am not confused.  I am settling (aiming at anyways) but I am not surrendering.  

The endeavor is to be intentional, as has always been the condition of my aiming.  Meaning is in the tension of choosing, aiming.  I doubt I would wrestle had my aim been poor, no expectation of hitting the target.  That I might chalk up to ignorance, inexperience, naivete, stubbornness, even simple miscalculation.    

If I am allowed to mix metaphors (too late), the fruit of choosing my target well is not about the bow but about the arrows.  What have my children learned?  To produce, rather than merely consume.  To subvert self, to others, to responsibilities, to care.  To see that work can be difficult and meaningful and leisurely.  To laugh while shoveling (or to cuss while wrangling escaped calves…let’s not neglect all facets).  A dream is not ethereal nor is it always roses and sunshine. These are just a few of the fruits.  

In short, they have known my dream (target).  They have seen my work (aim). They have seen my heart in the dirt on my hands and perhaps, even in the cursing of calves, because I have leaned all the way in. They have leaned in as well.  None of this should evoke idyllic notions of a perfect little paradise.  No, bearing fruit is hard work.  It is imperfect work.  It is a process.  I am flawed, they are too, yet we get up and do what needs to be done.  Not always willing in spirit but we do nonetheless. 

How do we know what needs to be done? Because we have aimed.  Truth is aiming well, to know and to act on knowing.  To know and not act is to err.  Neglecting aim or aiming nefariously misses the mark.  True aim does not guarantee accuracy (fruit), but accuracy does not result from aimlessness.  An accident of accuracy lacks intention (aim).  

To be fruitful is to aim well.  To be fruitful by accident is a lie.  This is different from being fruitful despite my flaws.  How critical it is to aim well!


The arrows are also my ideas, my dreams.  If my children are well aimed, they are arrows.  If my dreams are well aimed, my children learn to be the bow.  Aiming then is simple.  The courage is in the launch, the archer’s paradox.  To allow the arrow to bend around the bow, seemingly off course, while trusting the aim is true.  The spine of each arrow a little different.  The draw and release of the bow a little different.  The wind a little different.   All while the target never moved.  Aiming is simple, not easy.

To be; at home.

Perhaps that is to physically be at home.  Surely that is a true aim.  But there is much more to aiming than presence.  To be, is to aim well, to know the conditions, to launch the arrow, and to evaluate accuracy.  A well chosen target coupled to a true aim is the cultivation of faithfulness. The cultivation implies shifting conditions otherwise there would be no choosing, aiming, or launching.  In truth, there is ONLY choosing, aiming, and launching.  There is no guarantee of an accurate result. But, there is no accident in accuracy, fidelity…

…the sweetest of fruit.

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