By Gary Miller
I think I'm finally willing to admit it. When it comes to deer hunting I have turned into a trophy hunter. Now before you cast stones let me say that every hunter is a trophy hunter. What is trophy to me may not be a trophy to you but nevertheless we all shoot what we deem to be a prize. The characteristics of my prize have changed over the years. I could have never imagined years ago passing on the bucks that I seem to pass on now. It’s not that I necessarily pass on very large deer but it’s just the fact that years ago a six-pointer would have caused my heart to beat out of my chest.
If you have hunted long enough, you understand what I mean. No one tries to change but it just happens when time and experience meet. This collision causes hunter tunnel vision – defective eyesight in which one only sees what is in the center of their field of view and not in the periphery.
In the deer hunting world, it goes like this. I used to hunt for deer (the periphery). Now I hunt for a buck that has at least a 16 inch inside spread and has brow tines at least 6 inches long (the center of my field of view). And that booger is rare in some of the places I hunt. But I persist… and come home empty handed.
In a much more important venue, I live that way as well. It’s in the venue of daily living. Time and experience has collided here as well. Age has seen to it, and the collision has caused another type of tunnel vision. It’s one that makes me see the real prizes of life and ignore the things around the edges that simply don’t matter. Age is a double-edged sword. It brings the greatest wisdom, knowledge, and experience but its window is short-lived.
It’s like you know what to do but you also know you only have a small window of time to accomplish it. That awareness has been sobering for me and has caused me to make sure I am chasing a trophy that really matters. If age is creeping up on you, I hope you will do the same. And I hope that at the top of your list of things that matter will be what kind of spiritual legacy will you leave your family. Without this gift everything else will not matter.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com