I love hunting in the Midwest. I’ve been going there for several years and look forward to it each year at this time. Not only do I get to see some friends that I have come to know, but I get to chase some really big bucks. Sometimes, (if not most of the time) I get to chase them in difficult weather conditions. Since I’m there in early November, I know it’s going to be pretty cold. I also know I’m going to face some pretty stiff winds. And since I’m there for several days, it’s most likely going to rain. This trip is usually very taxing on the mind and body. I can remember many times sitting in blowing rain and the same amount of time trying to stay warm while a cold wind is hitting me directly in the face. I will come home from there with a full beard, lips chapped, wind-burned, and looking like I just met God on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments (except where I hunt, there are no mountains). In spite of all of these difficulties, not only do I keep going back, I keep looking forward to it year after year. If you are a hunter, you know why I keep doing this. It’s because of the trophy. It’s because the prize exceeds all the difficulties. It’s because the comfort of a great story exceeds the pain of 12 hours in a tree stand. But really, as you know, it’s more than that. Since I rarely kill a big buck, I can’t say the trophy is the reason I continue to go. Actually, I go for only the potential for the trophy. It’s not the prize but the possibility for the prize. I keep returning year after year with equal enthusiasm, enduring everything Mother Nature throws at me, because I simply have an amazing opportunity. To me, it is really neat that I have found something so worthwhile, I am committed to only its potential. I’ve seen signs of its existence. I watched it from afar. I have even had its presence cause my heart to rattle its cage of ribs. But none of these contain the full measure of a rare success. None of these are full and complete.
Heaven also seems to be this way – even my own Christian walk… and God. I live this life mainly for its potential. I have seen many signs of its reality. I have watched the work of God from afar. I have also had His presence rattle my heart. But I really only live on a promise, that one day what is now potential and possibility, will become sight. I can only imagine what the prize will be if the potential has so much draw.
Gary Miller has written Outdoor Truths articles for over 21 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.