Yes, my Minnesota friends. It is that time of year! Deer Hunting Season has begun!
We woke up this morning during the early hours (4:45 am or so) in order to walk out to our deer stand quietly in the dark. If you think that’s crazy, well, it is. But hunters seem to disregard a normal clock during hunting season. This time of year, they flourish on early am starts in a deer stand and long afternoon walks through thick woods, followed by a silent position in a tree to end the evening hunting hours. (Note: If you are reading this just after it was posted-4:15 am central time-I hope you are in a different time zone!)
Every hunting season, I find my self silently shivering in a wooden box 20 feet in the air, peering into the darkness and straining to hear footsteps nearby from “the big one” that we hope to get just as the sun peaks above the horizon. I have strict instructions from my husband to NOT move a muscle for the first several hours of the morning darkness, although I am guilty of moving my toes in my boots (I can’t sit still that long without moving something).
But, before I get to “enjoy” the quiet time with my husband each weekend morning of deer hunting, there is a LOT of preparation that comes beforehand. My dear (no pun intended) man gets out all of his hunting equipment a full month beforehand (sometimes earlier if harvest is wrapping up) and sets everything out. He cleans, organizes and prepares everything from his hand warmers to his deer call to his knife and gun to his clothing. Then, different items are put in his backpack so they are handy if needed. Other items get put in their respective bags and everything sits comfortably in the corner of a room for him to eye from time to time when he gets antsy for the quickly approaching deer season. And a hunting license is purchased the very day that licenses are made available.
Meanwhile, I smile and encourage him (giggling inside at how he gets so excited that preparation begins much earlier that I would probably prepare myself) and we talk about what deer have been seen around each of our farms that year. (Who am I kidding, this conversation is had all year-round in our home!) Conversation centers around the locations we have to hunt, what the best spots are this year based on the crop that was in each field and how thick the wooded areas are, where we are going to hunt what weekend and which family members are all planning on hunting with us. Then, there are multiple trips made to Cabela’s, Fleet Farm, Scheels, Gander Mountain and various local hunting shops. Ammo, hand warmers and other hunting gear is either purchased or drooled over. And early morning the Friday before the season begins, we attend the big “Orange Friday” event with our hunting partners to see if there are any last minute deals or items we can get.
The day before we hunt with each family, hunting strategy is discussed: who is going where, what time they are going to said positions, when we are meeting up and what woods/river ground will be push, again who is going where, and well, you get the idea. Sometimes eating is mentioned the day of the hunt, but usually after there has not been a deer sighting for at least two hours. Usually, the non-hunting family members are the ones considering/planning that part of the day ahead of time. After the discussion and supper, each hunter makes sure his/her warm clothes and gear is laid out for quick access in the morning; and each makes his/her way off to bed, only to NOT SLEEP thinking about all the exciting activities that will start early the next day.
I outline all of this activity to demonstrate how much attention, thought and energy avid hunters will put into preparing for a short period of the year, because they are going to do something they love. And make no mistake, other preparations are done all year around: target practice, reading about deer activities, talking to locals about where the deer are beings spotted and what their activities are like, etc. So it seems as if the research never ends, and a hunter who is dedicated can become more prepared and be more likely to hit that “big one” every year (assuming of course that that deer exists in the hunter’s area).
What if I put that much attention, thought and energy into preparing for life’s events that we know the Lord is calling us to.
“Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.” Titus 3:14
Look at some instances in the Bible when people prepared: (you can check these out while sitting quietly in your deer stand on those dark mornings as you wait to get the “big one”)
- Noah prepares for the flood (Genesis 6)
- Abraham prepared his servants/army (Genesis 14)
- Joseph prepares Egypt for the coming famine (Genesis 41)
- Joshua prepared for war (Joshua 10:7)
- David prepared for war (2 Samuel 10:7)
- John the Baptist prepared the way for the Messiah (Matthew 3)
- Food was gathered and sent to Judea to help Christians there survive the prophesied food shortage (Acts 11:28-30)
Or what if I even put that much attention, thought and energy toward my daily time with the Lord? How would that chance my perspective and outlook on the daily “events” that occur throughout my life? Just some things to think about while you enjoy some chilly, but happy, hunting memories! Happy hunting!
“’Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.’” Luke 12:35-40