Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Outdoor Truths

 

December 1, 2022 | View PDF

This time of the year, my preferred hunting location is close to a heater. That means I’m either in a barn or a blind. Since I’m either rifle or muzzleloader hunting, I can give myself a little leniency when it comes to smell. Not only will I fire up my heater, but a mug of coffee sure helps knock the chill as well. Add those with a comfortable chair and my shooting sticks, and I’m pretty much able to stay as long as needed. What I can’t do anything about is my inability to see in every direction. It seems there’s always an obstacle and my chair forces me to face only one direction. So, what I try to do, is maneuver my chair up or back, and close to one side or the other, so I can have the optimal view. But as most of you know, there will be some deer sneak in from an area that I wasn’t watching or couldn’t see. It happens every time. Of course, that also goes for tree stand hunting. I don’t know how many times a deer has seemingly just appeared under my stand. I don’t know how I didn’t see it or hear it coming. But there it is, and now I’m caught with a candy bar in one hand and unable to lay it down fast enough to pick up my firearm.

I also do this every day when I’m not hunting. Since I’m an addicted note-taker and list-maker; I sit down every day and write out what I want to accomplish on that day. I have a master list that is made up of weekly to-dos, but out of that list comes my daily duties. Its where I’m setting my chair. It’s where I’m focusing my attention. It’s where I’m expecting to see all that’s coming my way. But like my deer hunting, something or someone will always sneak in and show up from an unexpected time or place. Unlike my deer, much of the time I (you/we) look at my surprise arrival as something or someone keeping me from the ability to cross through one item on my list. After all, that’s the goal, isn’t it? I mean that’s the animal I’m hunting for, isn’t it? I mean that’s the trophy I want at the end of the day, isn’t it? Yes, that’s my goal, or your goal, but maybe not God’s goal. Maybe, that circumstance or person that came in unexpected was on God’s list. And since he can see in every direction, maybe he placed us where we are today so we would be in the perfect position to be a part of a greater list.

So, today and this week, don’t be mad if you don’t cross everything off your list. And don’t be upset with every interruption. What may be an interruption to you, might be God rearranging your schedule just a bit, to make sure you really are in the perfect place to have the greatest success – for you and others.

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I’ve often noticed how deer live mostly in a quiet environment. Even this morning I watched one particular city dwelling doe begin to get a bit nervous when the noise of traffic began to surround her. She quickly moved to a quieter place. Not only do they prefer a soundless surrounding, but most of the time deer do very little vocal communication. It is easy to see how well this characteristic serves the deer. When it’s quiet, any small or unfamiliar sound will cause them to be on alert.

There is really much to be said for a life full of quiet moments. Then there’s this time of year. A time when communication is at its highest and every form of it is used including sounds. Grunting, bleating, wheezing, and even the echo of fighting, send certain messages to all deer within an earshot. It is not coincidence that during the most important time of the year for a deer and during a time when relationships are paramount, communication is important. And much can be said about this as well.

If you think about it, while relationships may begin from a number of ways, they are only enhancing to our lives if they involve communication. For instance, you may have a sister which means your relationship was not instigated by you or her but by birth. But if you never talk to that sister or communicate in any way, your relationship with her will never be meaningful and in fact will dissolve back to the very basics of a simple bloodline. Every healthy and beneficial relationship will be made up of heartfelt, open, and transparent communication. And without it, we are only fooling ourselves into thinking everything is alright.

In our spiritual lives, communication is the test of whether our connection with God is staying on the fringe of a basic relationship or if our daily life is being constantly enhanced by this kinship. During the most important periods of our life this communication will be the difference between living abundantly and existing meagerly. Don’t be too prideful to communicate with God. Tell Him what’s on your heart. He wants to hear and give you clear direction. Remember, sometimes being quiet may keep you safe but it may also keep you from the people and places that God has in store just for you.

 

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