Monday, February 19, 2018
One of the obstacles that most hunters and fishermen dread is the wind. A light wind is not a factor – it's even helpful, but a windy day is burdensome to the fishermen and causes most game to stay out of sight. Most of the time I complain about the wind like everyone else, but there are a few circumstances where the wind actually adds excitement to the hunt and gives me the edge. One of those circumstances is when I'm turkey hunting. As you turkey hunters know, this particular bird has excellent sight and can distinguish colors as well. The least movement will turn an otherwise successful hunt into a what-if story. When the wind is still, I'm still, but when the wind blows, I use the opportunity to do a little stalking. One morning I was able to crawl within fifteen yards of nine jakes without ever calling. After they recognized something was not right, they came closer for some investigation. I could almost touch them with the end of my gun. Now that was exciting!
Many times, we assume the worst when the wind is involved. We use clichés like the "winds of change" or we offer encouragement by saying "keep the wind to your back," as if a headwind is a negative thing. The truth is most of our growth happens when the winds are against us. These gusts challenge our normal and comfortable way of doing things. They make us decide whether we will curse our circumstances or use them to find another way. They reveal to us our fears and our ability to adapt and overcome. They show us who or what is controlling our life. Perhaps the winds of difficulty are blowing against you right now. Perhaps it seems they are so strong that your boat is standing still. It may be that God is simply causing you to move in another direction. Or it may be that He is using these gusts to reveal to you a fear that you need to relinquish. The wind can be your friend if you will always remember that God is at its helm. He will determine its length and strength. He will use it to bring you new successes in different ways. And in doing this, He will cause you to have a greater trust in Him.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
The wind is one of the most important considerations during deer season. It affects everything from stand placement to the clothes one wears. If it blows from the east you might as well stay home. If it's swirling, you might as well stay home then too. And then there are the thermals that you have to figure in. They move up the hill in the morning and down in the evening. I had rather hunt when it's 20 degrees and no wind than when it's 32 degrees with a strong wind. But if I could choose the conditions for a perfect hunt, they would include a light, steady, and consistent breeze out of the northwest. This type of wind is not only comes from the preferable direction but its characteristics are predictable and allow the hunter to get away with the most movement. I've had a lot of success under these conditions.
In the Bible, the Spirit is compared to the wind. Like the wind, many times the Spirit is unpredictable. His job concerns things like conviction, correction, developing, teaching, and empowering. He's methods are many and He likes to do His greatest work at the most inopportune times. His purpose is to make each follower of Christ more like our Leader and to make every unbeliever contemplate their own mortality. Usually, the approach that each of us has to take is the one that calls for us to make day by day adjustments to His effect. But that's not always the case.
Just like the wind, there are times when the movement of the Spirit is steady, consistent, and predictable. One can take a not-so-far-look back into history and see there were times when the Spirit directed God's people in a new direction or towards a new emphasis. If He did it then, He can do it now. We can also look at how God is moving in the lives of other people and groups throughout a geographical, national, or even global area and determine if the winds of a new direction from God are blowing. When that happens, we can do one of two things: we can hold on to the safety of certainty and the comfort of acceptance or we adjust our sails. Jimmy Dean once said, "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." I say, "Me too."
Monday, November 11, 2013
While November usually can't compare
to the colder days of January and February, it can still get really cold. But
if one is to have the best opportunity at a big buck, he has to get out in it.
He just better be prepared. What I have noticed over the years, however, is
that I seem to manage the cold pretty well, but what I am never ready for is
the wind that may accompany those cold temperatures. I had rather hunt in 20
degree weather with no wind than 30 degree weather with the wind. And no matter
what the weather lady says the wind chill is, it is always colder than her
predictions. When I hunt in the Midwest, it is especially bad. I've also
noticed there is really no wind that is ever comfortable. I have sat for days
with a cold wind blowing directly in my face. My chapped lips and wind-burned
face are proof of those days. And I hate it when it blows from behind because
it seems that I can never keep my neck warm. During the cold days, the wind
determines my ability to stay in the stand more than anything else. It is the
greatest motivation to move. If it continues to blow, one gets so uncomfortable
that moving is the only option.
It is no coincidence that Jesus
compared the Holy Spirit to a wind. And when the Spirit first came on the
scene, Luke, a gospel writer, said it sounded like a violent wind. Again, this
is no coincidence. While the Holy Spirit lives within all believers, there are
times when His activity is especially felt. You may not see it or even know at
first what it is, but before too long you will recognize an uneasiness or an
uncomfortableness. And with a gentle inaudible voice, He will let you know it is
Him and He wants your attention. He has a word about something in your life. It
may be a word concerning a move He wants you to make or something that He wants
out of your life. You can try to resist, and sometimes you can, but the price
to stay and ignore this nudging will be one that you will never recoup.
So are you feeling that nudge
right now? Is the Wind making it uncomfortable to sit where you are? Have you
been uneasy and wondered why? Don't take it lightly. If it is important enough
to God to get your attention, then He must have something very important He
wants to do in your life. And remember, He always wants what is good and best.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Several years ago it was not
unusual to make one or two trips per week to wade the Cherokee Lake. Late
winter always proved to hold enough of the bass variety to keep me fishing even
in the most extreme conditions. These trips usually only lasted about half of
the day and since I kept my equipment in my truck, I only needed a short notice
and a good excuse. I can remember one day arriving at a favorite spot in the
mid afternoon. It was cold and blustery. Even though I had dressed warm the
cold air was blowing hard in my face. It was a headwind that was so strong,
casting was difficult. I fought the circumstances for about an hour before I
gave in and decided to go elsewhere.
A few hundred yards behind me was a
small unexciting place, but the wind would be to my back and blocked somewhat
by the hills on one side. There in that area, were little dead stickweeds that
were scattered throughout. They may hold a bass but there were now only a
couple of hours left before dark. In those two hours I caught six largemouth
and all were keeper size. I was so excited about that new little spot that I
made plans to return the next day; earlier and with a friend. That next
afternoon did not disappoint us. When the smoke had cleared we had landed
twenty one bass over fifteen inches long.
Just two days before I had cursed
the wind and the circumstance it had put me in. I had complained of the
difficulties and obstacles that I was facing. I had fought against the
prospects of leaving the familiar and comfortable place that I knew for the
unknown, untested, and unappealing. But to get to the most fruitful area I had
to be forced out of my safe and secure confines. I had to "cast my nets on the
This is how God works many times
when He wants to get more out of our lives or when He is looking for someone to
serve in a certain way or place. He simply makes the place that we're in too
hard to bear. He makes the going so tough that we have no other choice than to
look in other areas. It's one of the ways that God uses to get you from where
you are now to where He wants you to be. Sometimes the winds of change begin by
blowing you away from a comfortable place.
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