I’m done hunting

It was poor judgment on my part.  We scheduled our wedding 2 days before the opening day of Pennsylvanian’s deer season.  Course, at the time I wasn’t a hunter.  Nor the son of a hunter.  There wasn’t one in the family; not my dad, not his dad.  Nor my other grandfather.  Except for the family I’d married into, my closest hunting relative was an uncle.  So, no need to avoid a late November wedding lest hunting season conflicted with future anniversaries.

The next year my company closed on the first day of deer season so Betty and I decided to celebrate our first anniversary in the woods.  Hunting.  Our rifles were mostly window dressing.  Neither of us had any intention of hunting.  Good hunters work hard at minimizing odors and sounds but my wife and I talked irritatingly loud, ate our picnic lunch noisily, and generally drove other hunters away.  

During the day we heard gunshots, watched as a fox ran by, but hadn’t seen any whitetails.  Mid-afternoon that began to change as one doe after another soundlessly appeared.  Beautiful animals, regal, elegant, so stealthy.  By the 4th or 5th one I was hooked.  The change from spectator to hunter was all but instantaneous.  In the 38 years since, I’ve taken several nice buck and numerous does with both rifle and bow. 

Now I’m done.  After last season, I quit.  I’ve threatened to write the PA Game Commission a letter but probably won’t.  What drew me to hunt deer–seeing them, has been reversed by Game Commission rules which have severely reduced the state’s deer herd.  Especially on state land where I hunt.  It’s not unusual to hunt several days without seeing so much as a tail.  I love to hunt even if I don’t bring home venison.  But with not seeing deer in the woods becoming the norm, I’m done.

I have other hobbies and nobody will suffer if I don’t hunt.  But what if that’s our thinking about sharing the good news?  Could not seeing fruit lead us to say, “Fine, I’m done.”?  In that case, others might suffer.  God assigned each of us to be on mission right where we are.  Wherever a believer doesn’t act on his/her assignment, there’s a hole in the coverage.  Are each of us attentive to the Spirit’s promptings?  Are we available for God to use in someone’s journey towards God’s salvation?  

Admittedly it’s discouraging when we don’t see fruit from our efforts.  But do not be dismayed.  God always gets his man.  Or his woman.  Or his child.  Our job is to tell.  His is to call.