Deer season opened this month in this part of the country. I know several people who get very excited for every phase-bow, gun and black powder-and they hunt in all three if possible! I have nothing against deer hunting, in fact I feel it’s necessary to help control the incredible crop damage the deer cause to the farm fields as well as the damage done to vehicles (and lives) on roads. But personally, I find deer hunting extremely boring. I have harvested a few deer in the past, but I only did it because I like venison, I don’t understand the “thrilling” part! I’ve heard some hunters say that even if they don’t get a shot at a deer they just enjoy being out in the woods. BUT…There is one part of deer hunting, especially bow hunting I do enjoy, and I’ve helped others with it a number of times. It is following the “blood trail” after a deer was shot and ran off. If it was a good shot, they usually won’t go more than 100 yards. But once in a while, even with a decent shot they might go as far as 200 yards or more through brush and briars. They really are an amazing animal.
When it’s decided that it is time to start tracking, the hunter usually marks the spot where the deer was shot, and the blood trail begins. No two blood trails are ever alike-and I guess that’s why I like that part of the ‘hunt’. (Plus knowing there’s a “prize” at the end of the trail is exciting!) You have to watch closely for every sign of blood whether it’s a decent sized patch or just a drop here or there for maybe 50′ when suddenly there’s a large pool of blood and it leaves you wondering how?
But sometimes you can lose the blood trail and one of the ways to find it again is to make semi-circle “sweeps” to try to find the blood again. If that blood trail just can’t be found, you may need to go back to the spot where the deed was hit and start over…I’ve seen it work before!
Our Christian walk is much different because we are walking by faith not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7) Yet there are times we can become so busy or distracted by things that are not bad-and may even be good things-like caring for family or serving in church or other ministries that we can get “off track” on our faith walk. Let me give you an example of that from my own life experience.
About 10 years ago I was the 24-hour caregiver for my first wife Laura who was in home hospice. There were nurses who could come at any time if I called, but most of the time I was her “nurse” day and night. When she passed away after 6 months of that home hospice (and 11 years total of me caring for her) I have to admit I was broken. I was broken by grief partly because I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but I had also ventured off my faith walk because of caring for my wife 24 hours a day! Plus, I was now in a position where I knew very little about grief or how to deal with it.
A couple of months after Laura’s passing when a very severe “grief attack” (as I called them) started hitting me, it was getting so severe that I really didn’t know if I would survive. So, I slowly headed out through the woods to a beautiful spot overlooking the river. At first the waves of grief continued to crash into me. But as I looked at the peaceful river, the green hayfield and the beautiful forest, I somehow thought of the story in the bible of Elijah when he was alone at Brook Cherith and God promised to care for him. Then a line from an old country gospel song came to mind: “Sometimes I get so weary inside, then I recall how my Jesus died.” I looked at the green hayfield and Psalm 23 was instantly in my head. Somehow…I started thinking and meditating about how and when Christ died on that cross. That He died for SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST “our sin”…He died for this grief I was feeling, and every broken feeling any person has to deal with as well as this entire broken world we live in.
I had to go back to the cross to get a whole new outlook on how personal yet broad and contemporary the shed blood of Christ was and is.
Our faith walk…is not by sight, but it’s so much more exciting because we keep learning as we go!
Till Next Time…..