Hunting season is upon us. This is the time of the year when men (mostly), decked out in camo, spend an incredible amount of money to go freeze in a deer or duck blind, hoping for the chance to murder some innocent creature and feel all manly for awhile.
As the daughter of the owner of a duck club, I saw firsthand how the men somehow justified their expenditures, while at the same time complaining about how their wives spent so much money on hair, and nails and frivolous things. Um, has anyone priced neoprene chest waders lately, or Jon boats, or club memberships and assessments, or pedigreed dogs, or guns and ammo?
Let’s just say, the playing field is not equal, even with the rationalization that they are providing food for their families. And like I said, it’s a chance to kill. There are no assurances. Take Joe Schmo out into the woods and elevate him on a deer stand so he can adequately peruse the situation, and even the most skilled hunter cannot assure that Bambi is going to walk in front of his blind.
So now, let’s assume that ‘trophy buck’ does come within range. Buck fever! I’ve heard stories of guys who have frozen up and were unable to raise their weapon. My own father tells the story of having the buck of a lifetime within range, and getting his gun barrel caught in the underbrush. There was no freeing it without the telltale rattling of leaves sure to scare the elusive deer from his range and cause an outpouring of expletives that would clear the woods of any creature for an indeterminate amount of time.
So, if you don’t point your weapon in the right direction, you will never hit your mark. You might shoot into the ground and accidentally hit a gopher, or aim high and take out a songbird, but it wouldn’t be intentional.
My father is a great hunter, but he hit a bad streak one deer season. My young son at the time was playing with a stick and said, ‘This is how Grampy hunts’, and proceeded to swing his stick through the air, uttering pew as it passed above the target, then another pew as he passed it below the target. My father wasn’t amused (but the rest of us got a good laugh at the innocence of my son’s actions.) He did finally get a great buck that season, and his man card was restored.
If you can’t even aim at your target because your weapon is tangled, then you will never hit your target. If you do point it in the right direction, you significantly increase your chances of success and filling the house with the sweet aroma of roasted venison. Dad knew how to aim and shoot and had practiced many hours so he kept trying until he was successful.
As a Christian, I am often asked about my transgressions. When I fall short and don’t live up to the standards of those who would judge me, I look at my life and realize that I will never be assured 100 percent success in my life choices, or even my daily choices (that’s part of the frailty of our humanity). But, if I am not aligned with God at all, I am almost assured that I won’t ever hit the mark because I’m not aiming in the right direction.
When I gave my life to Christ, I made the commitment to try ... to aim and fire into the area of success and to keep trying. True, I have days when my ‘life bullet’ hasn’t hit the center of the target. Some days I miss ... a lot, but I know that if I practice daily, take my time, think, ponder and point my gun in the right direction, I am much more likely to get a bullseye.
When I ask for God’s assistance, he steadies the barrel for me, and calibrates my crosshairs to give me the best chance possible.
Lori Boekeloo of Hennepin is a mother of three. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or friend her on Facebook for more humor and inspiration on a daily basis.