Many hunters right now have moved from the tree stand to the duck blind. The mornings of solitude and scent elimination have been replaced with the companionship of friends and the smell of sausage on a propane stove. The quietness has been traded for the sounds that let a duck know other ducks are around. And there is man’s best friend; a four-legged follower who is the object of affection and encouragement for everyone there. I can see why duck hunting is special and I’m glad that much of the country has some type of waterfowl hunting.
When I think about the differences in deer hunting and duck hunting my mind goes to two different personalities or two different moods. Sometimes I want to be alone and sometimes I need to be around others. Sometimes I need to be quiet and thoughtful and other times I need to be interacting. Sometimes it is all about me and other times it is about someone else. The truth is, I need both.
Many outdoorsmen are quick to claim the outdoors as their church. They reveal that nature is their place of worship – that they love being alone with God at those times and in those places. Many however, have replaced a weekly gathering of believers with this time outside. They are right in their ability to worship God in nature but they have missed the point of gathering together with others. Our gathering has more to do with others than it does ourselves. Here’s how the writer of Hebrews put it; “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT) Do you see it? Our gathering is to motivate and to encourage others; something we cannot do alone. You may say you only prefer being by yourself and I cannot argue with your desire but I can expose your selfishness. You see, my friend, there are some people in your life right now who are going through tough times and they need your encouraging words. They need to see your dependence upon God. They need to see the place that He holds in your life. They need to hear you say that “God will see you through.” Those words will motivate them to continue the fight until the storm passes over. That is why we gather at church each Sunday – to be an encouragement to others. When we gripe about the seats or the sermon, the clothes or the clock, we have succumbed to the very thing that Satan was kicked out of heaven for … thinking it was all about him.
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DISCLAIMER: The views, beliefs and opinions expressed in this article, Outdoor Truths, are those of Gary Miller and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs or opinions of Courageous Christian Father. Outdoor Truth’s is a syndicated article published in various newspaper and online sources and has been used on Courageous Christian Father with permission from Gary Miller. #OutdoorTruths
Gary began pursuing his desire to write a newspaper column to hunters and fishermen that would lead them to contemplate their relationship with their Creator. The column was picked up by two newspapers. After these many years now, it covers much of the country not only through several newspapers but also through regional magazines and online. His writing provided opportunities to speak to these same hunters and fishermen at events such as Beast Feasts. The results were men giving their lives to Christ.
Even though he was not raised in a hunting or fishing home, Gary has followed his heart to the water and woods since he was a child. What started on the banks of the local canal catching carp, now extends to every part of his life as he aims outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen toward Christ.