The cold is starting to set in and those who still hold onto that coveted Buck tag are beginning to get anxious. The rut is over, and the wind and snow is fast approaching, providing us with more surprises than certainty as we head out into the woods. Each deer is more anticipated, as we shiver in the cold, and already we have lost count of the sits we have been on this year.
Maybe worst yet, the taste of the tag soup some of us ate in years past ago is still a bad taste in our mouths. The disappointment, and frustration fresh in our minds adding more pressure to each encounter, and each situation. These pressures and thoughts create what has become known as an itchy trigger finger; when a person becomes overly anxious, excited or nervous and can be unpredictable or inaccurate.
The anticipation builds as harvest photos fill our social media pages and as our friends have begun to fill their tags. Anxiety mounts, “Will I get one this year?” “What am I missing?!” “How is it so much easier for them?” Our attention has started to shift from the blessing and pursuit of the harvest, to the pressure of an empty tag. Each sit becomes less enjoyable; each workday more agonizing.
We begin to hurry; to rush and become more and more distracted. Even when we believe our entire focus is a successful harvest, our vision is blurred with the pressure. The perception that others have on us plays an extremely large role in these pressures. Social lies that we need a 180” buck, or that we have to take a 60-yard heart shot. While having these stories is incredible, it has become less about a successful hunt then we would like everyone to believe.
As Christians we see this same scenario play out late each November. We begin to rush and fuss about the lights and gifts. Thoughts racing through our minds: Are the gifts big enough? Did we buy enough? We have to get one of those for them, everybody is wanting one!
Even nearly a month before Christmas Day we have already forgotten what “Christmas” is about. We are so wrapped up in all things “Christmas” that we left out the one thing most important. We get an itchy trigger finger; and even WE believe the lies that all of this is necessary, and appropriate. Our children write elaborate lists of toys and goodies most have no need for. For trucks and trains, bikes and cars, for Barbie’s and doll houses…. We sing Santa Claus is coming to town, and place cookies and milk out near the tree.
Where is Jesus in our Christmas? Is he there at all? Do we even remember to mention him as we sit down to our Christmas Meal?
If it is important for us as hunters to remember that hunting is more than a harvest picture with the Buck of a lifetime, or the Tom of the century. Then it is IMPERATIVE that we remember that Christmas is more than the lights, the family gatherings, or even the gifts. It’s not about Santa and Mrs. Claus, magic elves or flying reindeer; NOT EVEN THE ONE WITH A RED NOSE!
In Isaiah 9:6-7 it says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
The greatest gift that one can receive came in a package that most struggle to accept. The cost is much, but not financially. The gift is huge but cannot be seen or perceived. It is the greatest gift of all time, and it will last for eternity. He came to offer forgiveness of sins, for one and for all. A gift we cannot earn, we cannot buy, we cannot build independently. It is because of this gift and God’s love and everlasting grace that we celebrate “Christmas” at all. This gift in detail is described in John 3:16-17:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
This gift is for each and everyone of us. Jesus came to us that first Christmas, and all we are asked to do is to receive Him with open hearts. Let’s not miss our shots this Christmas season because of an itchy trigger finger.
The Created Outdoors team is here for you if you have questions about who Jesus is; if you have prayer requests or if you would just like to talk. Our team would love to hear from you and we are grateful for the chance we have had to spend some time with you.
Please remember that no matter where you are in your life, and regardless of anything that is or that was; Jesus Loves You! He always has, and always will.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Created Outdoors!