It seems like turkey season snuck up on me. Some southern states are either open now or are opening in a few days. My own area is about a month away, but that doesn’t stop the gobblers from gathering up and scouting out the hens. Some hunters are spotting flocks of these birds right now in the fields. And the warm days are making it all come together. Spring is in the air, trees are blooming, the toms are gobbling, and the turkey hunters are as anxious as we have ever been. Some of my best hunting stories have come from my time chasing gobblers. There are hardly any hunts that don’t have some unique twist to them. There are so many variables when hunting turkeys that anything can, and probably will, happen. I have made 50-yard shots at times, and then at other times I have been unable to get my gun on one when he’s less than 10 yards away. There have been days when it seems I could have coughed, and they would have flown down to me. And other times when a real hen couldn’t get an old gobbler to get anywhere near it. To me, turkey hunting is the most unpredictable hunting there is. And what makes it worse is that from a distance, it seems pretty cut-and-dry. From a distance, it seems if one just does the basics, everything should go as planned with very few heartaches. I got lost for a moment. I had to think if I was talking about turkey hunting, or life. In this respect they are closely related.

Life too, seems fairly simple from a distance. As a young adult, you look at things from that distance and think that if the basics are done, everything ought to fall in place with very few heartaches. We think if we just get an education, get a good job, manage our money, and stay away from questionable people and conduct, our lives ought to end up with a 3-bedroom 2-bath house, 2 cute children, a healthy marriage, a good income, and a comfortable retirement. Sounds easy enough – until we get into the hunt. Or until we get into that adult life. It’s then we realize it’s harder than it looks. And sometimes we have unplanned successes and unanticipated failures. And some of those failures are not just over when the season is over, but they are carried over season after season. And soon we realize life is not as clean-cut as we thought, and there is nothing normal about this year – or any year. But the good news is this. Our imaginations were not ones that came from reality or from God. If you think about it, no one has that life you imagined. It is not the norm. What’s real and normal are lives that are made up of hurts, heartaches, and habits. And that’s why Jesus said if we would come to Him, He would give us rest. Why? Because life, like turkey hunting, is unpredictably hard at times. And at the end of those days, there is nothing better than resting with the One who understands how hard life can really be. 


Gary Miller    

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.

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