One of the best places to put up a tree stand or blind, is in a funnel. A funnel is a small area where two or more ridges run out or down into a small hollow or trail. If you can imagine the dip between two crests, you will understand what a funnel is. It is basically the easiest route for deer, or any other animal, to travel. And like you and I, most animals look for what takes the least effort and expends the least amount of energy. Not only does this apply to travel routes, but it also applies to food. Just watch any bear or raccoon and you will see how they will opt for a free and easy meal even if it is found in your garage or trash can. And, as you also know as well, it is these easy meals that cause many of these critters, to be caught or killed. While we admire some of the special characteristics of many of the animal kingdom, in some ways they are just like us. They had rather get whatever they can with the least amount of cost.

 For followers of Christ, this is also a temptation. While I am the first to proclaim the freedom that grace affords, in full disclosure, being a follower of Christ will at times call you to take the more difficult path. And at times it will cost a price others may not have to pay. You may have to give up the hate you so want to hold on to, in order to love the one who is unlovable. You may have to give up the revenge you want to exact, in order to give the forgiveness God wants you to give. You may have to give up criticism in order to show the kindness that comes from the Spirit. Sometimes, you will have to give up your opinion in order to keep your influence. All of these are not done so someone can applaud your goodness, but for the hope that someone will embrace your savior. And we all should ask the question, “What am I willing to give up so that more people would choose Jesus?” This sounds simple. Some will say, “I am willing to die for my faith!” But that is the easy part. The real question is “What am I willing to live with if more would choose Jesus?” Would you live in communism if more people would choose Jesus? Would you live without the freedom to assemble? Or without free speech?  Would you give up your right to own a gun? Or to hunt? You see, the decision to live for our faith, is sometimes more sacrificial than the decision to die for it. And it may be a better reflection of the priority my faith holds in my life. The faith funnels are easy and predictable. But they are not the path we may always be able to take. 

Gary Miller