Today marked my last day of deer hunting for this year. The season ends Sunday, and unless things go differently than planned, I will not have the opportunity to get back out and find one of those tasty beautiful animals to kill and eat.
So, now that I've got a season behind me, I feel qualified to talk deer hunting on the blog here. After all, 4 trips makes me an expert. Never mind that I've shot precisely zero deer.
Why have I shot no deer? Well, I've seen a dozen. They were on the road, and you can't shoot them from the road. And I wasn't driving, so I didn't run them over! All the hunting I've done has been from deer stands, where you sit, mostly quietly, and wait to ambush the poor, defenseless creatures when they show their heads. None of them have shown their heads, tails, or vital organ areas, so I've shot none.
Now, thanks to the game cameras in the area we've been hunting, I know there are deer there. Quite a few. I heard this morning that there's an estimated 1 deer for every person in Arkansas. That's right, about 2.5 million deer, and only about 5% have been killed. I just haven't seen any at the right place and the right time.
This morning, Ryan and I were discussing why we haven't shot any. Ryan's seen a few, but didn't shoot them, and I haven't seen any, as we've established. We talked about where around us we thought the deer were, and came to this conclusion:
If we were going to go hungry without killing a deer, we would have tried harder to find one.
It's true. Had it been the difference between clear soup and soup with meat, we would have gone more, and done more than sit in a stand and hope a deer came out. We would have stayed longer in the woods, would have gone into the thicker areas, been more careful about noise, and so on, and so forth. And if were really about starvation, not sport, we might even be willing to meet the deer (and then meat the deer) at the early morning times they're showing up on game cameras: 2 or 3 AM.
How does this apply beyond game hunting? Simple: what are you hungry for? What things are you willing to go to great lengths to bring into your life, and what things get a casual, once a week glance from a semi-comfortable seat?
For too many of us who claim to be Christians, we're as hungry for the Word of God as I was to shoot a deer. We want convenient timing, comfortable spots, and are willing to dedicate just a fragment of time to the idea.
Is it no wonder we don't see what we claim to want? I want to shoot that 10-pointer, but I don't want to bad enough to go out in all weather, and to wait all day. I'm only interested enough to try a few times.
I want to grow as a follower of Christ. Am I hungry enough that nothing will stop me? Rain, cold, time, or even if it becomes that I must go and seek in the night, in defiance of a government?
What am I hungry enough for that I'll do anything? What about you?