I used a quote from this poem by Robert Frost in the footer in my "About Me" page. I've used and lived by this quote (though I changed it a bit) since I first heard it in a presentation by Dewitt Jones many years ago. (note at end of this blog) The slightly altered version I use is;
My aim in life is to unite my avocation with my vocation,
as my two eyes make one in sight.
I like to explain and demonstrate this pearl using my hands and the metaphor of archery. Stretch one arm out in from of you with your index finger pointing straight up. If you focus on that finger, you'll only see that one finger. If you shift your focus to the distance, now you'll see the illusion of two fingers. In archery, as in most 'shooting' sports, it is best to keep both eyes open even though the tendency is to close your non-dominant eye.
For my demo, I start with both arms stretched to my sides. I bring them together outstretched in front of me. Keeping one in hand in front, I draw the other back to my cheek as if I am aiming an arrow to a distant target that I'm seeing with both eyes open. And that's it! I'm aiming towards my goal with my two eyes making the target focused in sight.
Now here's what I love even more; When language/words/definitions come together to reinforce our minds and determination. There's another term from archery; Sin. It means to miss the mark.
When you let that arrow fly, your either going to hit your mark or your going to miss it. That's right, to miss your mark is to sin. Does that jive with your biblical interpretation? I reckon it does. Think about that when someone refers to 'sinners.' Sinners are simply people who've missed their mark. Maybe because they haven't been taught the proper technique for handling a bow. Maybe they aren't keeping their eyes open, or they jerk/flinch when they let go the arrow. Maybe they set unrealistic goals by shooting for targets far beyond their means or ability level.
When I start to practice with my bow, I use a large target, pretty close up. When my skills are proficient, I'll move the target back and shoot for a smaller bulls-eye until I know the limits of my bow, my arrows and my skills. I hate losing arrows!
What's the penalty for missing the mark - for committing a sin? Eternal damnation? Not in my book. Humiliation, whether from others or self-imposed, is the usually the punishment. And lost arrows. Dang things are expensive.
Now as for my avocation; What is it I'm good at and what do I for the love of it? My aim in life is to take that activity, that love of doing, that avocation – and make it into my vocation, my means of making a living, whether for money or simply the reward of enjoying my time and life – as my two eyes make one in sight. Telling stories and making music, I reckon that's it for me. That's why I'm doing all this. Livin' the dream, baby!
How about you?