Yesterday was the final day of archery whitetail season here in Ohio. This season has been different for each of us. Some of us have celebrated and accomplished what we set out to do. Even still, there are those of us who found ourselves coming up short. We begin to store our gear or transition into our gear for the next hunting season.
As we begin this process, we tend to really think about all that’s happened. This is a moment for many of us that can be sentimental, or maybe even emotional. Like the storing of a sports uniform after the last game, it is a realization that we won’t need it until next season. We reflect and we remember the highs and lows that brought us to where we stand today. Storing the field knife that our grandfather gave us, or the sled that Dad made. Cleaning the shotgun or rifle that you’ve been using for fifteen seasons, and the memories you’ve made holding it.
It is at this point where decisions are made. How did our equipment hold up? Would we have been more successful if we had different equipment? Maybe our boots need replaced, or our bow strings are worn. Do we need additional stands or replacement sets? Do we need better optics or sights? Are there things we could’ve done differently to increase our success at our properties? Do we need to consider food plots, water sources, or trail cuts? Maybe we need to address predator issues, or simply want to increase the vitamins and minerals to encourage better growth in our heard.
In the end, one question defines all of these…
Are we satisfied?
If we’re satisfied with our bow, our equipment, our properties, then there is little for us to do but to maintain. Do we drive on and do better, or take our chances and just let it go?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.”
In life we have these defining moments when we must ask ourselves, “Are we satisfied?” Are we satisfied with who we are? As a spouse, a parent, a sibling, or as a friend. As Christians are we obedient and attentive? Can we say that our faith is steadfast? Or have we become fair-weather Christians?
These verses talk about how each of us should strive to live. First as it pertains to our attitudes in verse 16 as it is saying that regardless of circumstance or struggle that our Joy is in Christ and the Grace and Forgiveness that he has shown us. The struggles and success of this life are temporary, but his love and the relationship He desires to have with us is eternal.
To pray without ceasing, verse 17, means that we should be dependent on our relationship and communication with God. The word “cease” itself means to stop or to quit. Paul is not instructing us to be in constant spoken prayer but instead that prayer would be our first response not our last. As hunters we have our muscle memory, and when we do not have an established form or shot routine our shot group is very inconsistent. Paul is encouraging us to pursue prayer often, and to make it part of our daily routine, establishing it as part of our life’s “muscle memory”.
As for giving thanks in all circumstances, verse 18, the statement Paul makes is self-explanatory. Self-explanatory or not, we need to always be thankful. Often, we look to God when we struggle, but in success we love to bask in the glory and praise that is showered on us. It is easy to forget that it is God who has given us everything, and it is because of Him we can succeed.
The scripture goes on to state in verse 19, “Do not quench the Spirit”; or as another translation says, “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.” We often carry the Holy Spirit around with us much like a water bottle. We drink from it occasionally so that we do not become dehydrated or thirsty, and it satisfies us. What this verse is saying, is to always be thirsty and never satisfied.
We should never find ourselves satisfied with where we are at in our relationship with God. Instead of treating our relationship with God like we treat our bodies with water we should desire for the Holy Spirit in the same way our bodies long for air. We will never have enough oxygen, and our bodies breathe even without being told to do it. Paul is saying is that our longing for the Holy Spirit, our desire for God, should not be fleeting or momentary but instead a continual effort and desire for more.
As a hunter when we become satisfied, we can become complacent and lazy. We are no longer exceling, and we are certainly not making ourselves better. We cannot expect to make the tough shots, or that we are always going to have success. We often say we “Eat, sleep and drink” what we are passionate about as a way for us to explain that we are never satisfied.
As outdoors men/women if we are not satisfied with where we are, or where this last season has brought us, then it is important for us to put in the work and make changes. The same goes for us as Christians, we each have to ask ourselves…
Are we satisfied, or are we thirsty for more?
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.