Today is a day every year on the calendar that many of my family and friends circle. It is a day that many people across the state of Missouri make note of. It’s the beginning of archery deer season. It lasts through January 15. It’s a date that many of us look forward to as soon as January 15 ends. Because when January 15 ends, we begin the countdown to September 15 arriving.
Many of my friends, that don’t hunt, wonder why it is that I do. I’ve even heard, “How can you shoot something so beautiful?” And I agree with part of this question. The deer are beautiful. And it really is hard to explain to someone who doesn’t hunt, why it is I enjoy it. But the answer is simple. It’s not about shooting deer. It’s not about shooting turkey. Or shooting other animals. That is a very small part of what it is about. Yes, I want to accomplish that. And actually, more often than I do getting an animal, I come home empty-handed. And that is totally fine with me. Because, hunting is about being out in God’s creation. It’s about respecting God’s creation. It’s about honoring God‘s creation. And when I do that, I grow closer to God. Because, while I am waiting for an animal to come in, I am talking with God. Praying to God. Reading about God. And then…If I am blessed to take an animal, I lower my head, and I say a prayer of thanks to God. My prayer is to thank God for allowing me to be in the creation. My prayer is to thank God for the meat that it’s going to provide my family. My prayer includes feeding others. Last year, we were able to feed dozens of veterans and their families with the meat from the deer that were taken during the season. And that is incredible.
If you don’t realize it yet, this devotion is not about hunting. It’s about being thankful to God for his blessings. It is about being thankful for providing us opportunities to provide for our families. It is about being thankful for providing opportunities to provide for our friends. It’s about being thankful to God for his love for us. Sometimes, I just happen to show my gratitude through hunting. I just happen to show my gratitude for being able to provide to those I love. So today here is my challenge for everyone, find something to be thankful to God for. Find something in your life to tell him you are grateful for it. Look around, and I’m sure you will see it. I know you will see it. It’s there. It’s there because God provided it for you. And that my friends, is beautiful.