Ron Witbeck
: Enjoying hunting isn’t all about trophies

By Ron Witbeck

Associate Pastor, Resurrection Life Church
Nov. 15 is a special day for those of us who enjoy getting out into the woods for the opening day of deer season, hunting with the expectation of bagging that trophy buck!

We enter into the woods during the darkness of early morning heading out to our blinds, settling in to await the sunrise. We begin to envision the sighting of our buck coming into view, readying ourselves for that one shot, with the reward of putting a monster head mount upon our living room wall. The day is excitement accompanied with expectation!

We patiently wait for the daylight. As it begins to creep in, with the woods around us starting to awaken, our minds begin to drift off noticing God’s creations stirring as they face their new day. The birds begin chirping, singing out their praises to God. Next come the squirrels and chipmunks scampering around making all sorts of noise in the leaves as they go about their daily routine. Of course, then you have those insects the frost has not yet taken care of flying around us interrupting our concentration.

We begin to realize the sheer beauty of nature surrounding us, allowing our minds to wander, drifting off the reason why we are out in the cold in the first place. We notice how every part fits together just the way God had intended. Then as the sun breaks the horizon we can think of God’s Word in Ecclesiastes 1:5-8:

“The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,

“And hastens to the place where it arose.

“The wind goes toward the south,

“And turns around to the north;

“The wind whirls about continually,

“And comes again on its circuit.

“All the rivers run into the sea,

“Yet the sea is not full;

“To the place from which the rivers come,

“There they return again.

“All things are full of labor;

“Man cannot express it.

“The eye is not satisfied with seeing,

“Nor the ear filled with hearing.”

Instead of hunting, now we become engrossed in thoughts of how small we are in this vast scheme of life! With God giving us dominion over all of His creation, which we are now hunting, as we read in Genesis 1:26-28

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'”

We may then begin to wonder just how beautiful the Garden of Eden must have been before man caused his own fall. But through God’s love we have been reinstated and now with Thanksgiving Day coming we should be more aware of all the blessings we have to be thankful for.

Oh wait, we are now back to where we are, in the cold, hoping to be blessed with a trophy buck! Thank You Father for all that You have given us, if we would only take the time to look around, away from ourselves!

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