Skip to main content

First deer hunt…

Yesterday, I went deer hunting for the first time.  Well, first I went barrel hunting.  I definitely got the barrel, but it wasn't moving.  We didn't actually see any deer we had a good shot at, and there were only about 2 squirrels in the whole area of the woods we were in.  So, it wasn't very productive in the 'bring home dinner' category, but it was a pretty good time.

Since I didn't shoot at any deer, I don't have any thoughts about that.  I'm contemplating the ideas of the quietness necessary, the stillness, and the patience, but those are lessons that I'm cautious about writing about, since I know that I have not achieved any level of accomplishment in those areas and don't really want to be pushed into learning them more than I already deal with!

I was actually going to reflect, just momentarily, on target practice.  Here's what happened:

We went out, into the middle of the farm, and parked about 50, maybe 75 feet from a barrel.  On this barrel, one of the guys stuck a bright orange target sticker.  Then, sitting on a seat on the back of the truck, I shot at it.  Now, for all of my rhetoric about the Second Amendment and such, I haven't pulled the trigger on a loaded gun in 12 years.  It's not a hobby I've had the time, location, or finances to spend on, so I haven't done it.

So, I set down, pick up the rifle, and start to line up a shot.  I look through the scope, see the orange dot, and pull the trigger.  Immediately, a few things happened:

1.  The rifle kicked back and the scope hit me square between the eyes.
2.  The bullet, probably before the scope hit me, goes through the orange target about 1.5 inches off the bull's-eye.
3.  The rifle reloaded itself and was ready to go again.

Now, about these 3 things:

1.  I've never fired a rifle with a scope on it.  When in Boy Scouts, we lined up the good-old iron sights, and fired.  When I did this later with my handgun, I didn't hit quite as well, but missed low.  I knew the rifle would kick, but I didn't put two and two together and think about what would happen with the scope and my eye with my eye so close to it.  I jerked back a little, which allowed for the hit between the eyes rather than right in the eye.

Then I found out something: the reason I was having trouble seeing the target through the scope was that the scope is designed to be hard to see through when you're too close!  You're supposed to keep your head back out of black-eye range so you don't get hit.

2.  I'm a better shot than I realized.

Well, not exactly.  You see, I wasn't shooting my rifle.  Dad's loaning me his rifle, but he's bringing it as he travels up here for Thanksgiving. (Obviously, he's skipping any type of body scan or pat-down.  I will have 3 security agents tackle and tickle him on arrival, though.)  I shot Ryan's rifle.  It's already sighted-in, with the scope dialed just right.  So, having the prep-work done made it much easier.  All I had to do was point-and-click.  This was extremely obvious with the next gun that I shot dead-center.

3.  It's nice to have a quick second chance.  Had I been shooting at a deer, I might have tried to crazily pull of the second shot just to make sure it was dead!

Now, I'm not a hunter or a sportsman.  I am learning some of these skills and picking up the hobby for recreation and relationship, but down in, I'm a preacher/teacher.  I'm not telling you all this to help your wood-skills.  I have a point or two:

1.  As believers, as a church, we have a goal.  Just as my goal was to hit the target, we have a goal to hit.  It may be, like my barrel shooting, an intermediate goal.  Long-term, I don't hope to shoot a barrel a week, I hope to shoot 5 deer, 2 turkeys, and all the rabbits I want (thinking about getting my wife a fur coat)! I may even add the duck stamp and fowl up.  In our churches, our ultimate target is to make disciples of all nations.  However, you can't get to all the nations tomorrow.  You can, however, get started.  Set intermediate goals, but never give up on the long-range goal: the Word of God presented to every tribe, tongue, nation, people.  Disciples from everywhere, making disciples everywhere.  Start somewhere.  Even if you don't hit exactly, you can hit close!

2.  Really, the heavy work has been done.  I have no idea how long it took Ryan to match the scope with the rifle.  I'll find out as I try to make sure mine is matched well and sighted-in.  For believers, though, the heavy work was done at the Cross.  Really, there was about 33 years (we'll debate that number later) that were the hardest, from the manger to the cross, and finishing at the empty tomb.  Jesus Christ did the work of reconciling us to the Father, of paying for our sins.  He then ascended, and the Holy Spirit descended, such that we have the help we need.  Add in that God has given us His Word in Scripture, and we are simply lining up a sighted-in rifle with a giant scope.  The hard part is done: pull the trigger and share the Gospel, make disciples.

3.  Be ready to try again!  There is no magic bullet that can completely account for our tendency to screw up.  There's always a way in which we're not perfect, always something that causes us to not quite hit right, especially the first 5 times or so.  Keep up the effort.

4.  Realize that sometimes, the very things we use to accomplish our tasks will sting us.  Either we realize as we share God's truths with people that we're not exactly right (should happen, you're not perfect either!) or the very people that we expect to help us instead bruise us.  Guess what?  It happens.  Sometimes, it's because we're not doing something right, sometimes it's just the nature of the situation.  Either way, it cannot distract from the real purpose.  A bruised head shouldn't stop a deer hunter.  A bruise or two should even moreso not stop us from striving forward spiritually. 

Those are just some thoughts from yesterday.  Eventually, hopefully, I'll have some thoughts about actually shooting a deer.

Doug

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…