It’s only August but I’m getting a little nervous about the upcoming deer season. I still have a few hours of field preparation I need to do before I can begin getting my gear situated. One tree stand needs to be moved and another one needs rehung. And of course, that involves trimming limbs and making sure I have ample shooting lanes. It’s all a part of bow hunting. There’s so much more that needs to be done when you have to manage 40-yard distances instead of 500 yards. That sounds backwards, but it’s true. Not only do you have to make sure those lanes are clear, but you also must have enough cover around you to move without being seen. And we’re not even going to talk about smell and wind direction. Those are other factors that come with early season bow hunting unlike rifle hunting. Bow hunting is almost like a different sport all together. And many hunters go more primitive than the state-of-the-art bows. They will hunt only with a traditional recurve. One that has nothing but an arrow rest and the simplest sights. Their goal is not to make it easier but harder. They exhausted “easy” a long time ago. Their body that once shook with buck fever has now built up its own immunity. And even though it sounds weird, they miss the days of the unexpected, unsure, and uneasy. Why? God actually made us that way. Fast forward to our spiritual life…
Boring? Predictable? Routine? Comfortable? Mostly uneventful? Each of those descriptions fit the daily lives of most people. Each of those describes a life that can easily be explained in natural terms. None of them need the activity of God. None of them make anyone stand up and take notice about your God, or any god for that matter. And yet here we are as believers, claiming the presence of a supernatural Person within us, that offers a supernatural power for us. And not only do we play in the shallow end, we wonder why our life offers nothing to make our heart race once again. Paul wrote the words that many of us quote. He said, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. And yet most of us would agree that God has not done exceedingly abundantly all that we can ask or think. Why? Maybe it’s because the power that is supposed to be working in us has been stymied by our lack of faith – by our unwillingness to get a little closer to the possibility of failure, or fear, or fight. Or anything that will cause buck fever. The greatest faith will never have a plan B. It will never leave you so close to the cliff that you will be able to reach back. It will never leave you close enough to the boat to allow you to swim back to safety. As Patrick Overton said, “When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”
And boring, predictable, routine, comfortable, or uneventful will never be used to describe either.
Gary Miller has written Outdoor Truths articles for 20 years. He has also written five books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations.