From Casual to Crucial


The last 3 years I have taken up archery elk hunting. I love it. I love the nicer weather, I love that the bulls are rutting, and that they are fairly easy to locate. I love dressing up in my camo and sneaking around the woods and trying to get close enough to touch off an arrow at one of these giants of the forest.

But in 3 years of archery hunting, I've never even shot at an elk. Here is my confession; I have been a very casual elk hunter. I have some decent equipment and some knowledge of elk and hunting, but I fall short in a lot of areas. I don't scout because I don't have time. Oh, I always intend to- but I never quite seem to find the time. I'm never in as good of physical shape as I should be by the time the season rolls around- though I say every year that I am going to be. I shoot my bow a little and practice holding my draw for long periods and I can shoot pretty well I guess. But I sound like a real beginner on a bugle. I always get excited to go bow hunting, and even though our season is a month long or so I bet I only hunt about 4-5 days a year on average. I really like buoy 10 salmon fishing and that always seems to come before hunting. Bow hunting elk just seems to slide down on the priority list a ways every year.

So you probably get the idea by now. Even though I say I love archery elk hunting, my lack of desire to work at the things I need to work at to get good at it proves my casual attitute towards it.

This year, with my years of preference points stacked up, I drew one of the best rifle elk hunts in the state. It seems I've been waiting forever to get this hunt. Year after year there has been great dissapointment when I get the draw results back and it says "200 series elk- unsuccessful". But this year was different. And so things are moving pretty quickly from casual to crucial.

I'm getting myself in shape. The country I will be hunting is in very rugged, tough country. It is going to require a lot from me to be able to hike that area every day for a week and a half and hopefully pack out an animal. But I'm pushing my body to be prepared.

I'm reading everything I can read about this area. I'm scouting google earth, topo maps, I'm calling wildlife biologists and emailing people who have drawn this hunt and been there before. I'm seeking knowlege and wisdom and advice and am open to learn anything I can to make me better on this hunt, and attain my goal.I'm investing in some gear that I will need. I'm going to be shooting my rifle a lot more than I normally would. I'm planning a scouting trip or two to the area. I've picked my brother to go along on the hunt with me to encourage me, to keep me moving and to help me become successful.

This may be the best opportunity I will get to take a trophy elk- it may even be the last opportunity I get to take a trophy elk. So I've got to make the best of it. I've prioritized things and next to my own funeral there is not much that is going to keep me out of woods this fall.

Do you see the difference between the casual and the crucial? That is the point I was trying to make in my rant last week when I said that I was upset by the lack of preparation most men have when it comes to living life for Christ. Most of us are taking a very casual approach. And as a result we are not "filling the freezer or putting a trophy on the wall" so to speak. We are just getting by, passing the time and hoping that something good will fall in our lap.

But when you realize that you are powerful, and that God does have a crucial role for you to play, and that most of the crap you have had to deal with in your life was an attempt to keep you from becoming who God designed you to be....Once you discover that you can (with the power of the Holy Spirit in you) live the kind of life you only dreamed of, to have the kind of impact you only dreamed of, it changes everything.

It is not a cake walk. It is a marathon. It is tough and it is grueling but it will be worth it. Lots of times we run into tough things and we want to give up and quit or take the easy way out. But we need to understand that God is training us up though the hard times to shape our character. Look at all Jesus accomplished but at the same time he had to endure some pretty rough hardships. He was demonstrating what it is like to walk with the Father, trusting Him and a living with a total determination to not give way to anything less than the will of the Father.

We need more men to live like that...



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