Warmer weather is just over the horizon! Some of us are gearing up for bearded hens, big toms, spurs and early morning sits, while others still have the elusive whitetail on the brain. In many parts of the country, hunters are clearing property, cutting trails, and tilling ground as we practice social distancing and begin to plant the seeds of the 2020 whitetail deer season.
There is a lot of planning that goes into the establishment of a successful food plot. Before work can begin a location must be scouted and found to have good soil, sunlight, and opportunity. Opportunity comes in many forms, and it varies according to each hunter. Different ideas that we have grown up with or have learned over the years have created a type of “recipe for success”.
Don’t forget that every good recipe has a “secret ingredient” and I am certain that if you had a room full of hunters each one of us would have a different idea as to what is the key ingredient. To some, it’s the distance and location in relation to a water source or a bedding area. To others, it’s a lime treatment each year, or a specific type of cover and concealment around the plot. We all have different approaches, but overall we all understand that almost any food source will attract deer. The difference with a properly planned food plot is the potential it has to increase traffic, grow the heard, promote health, and even might attract some new faces.
To establish new growth on a plot once a location is set and the area has been cleared, we begin to break the ground so seeding can take place. Depending on which crop you choose this process may occur in fields that were cleared in years past as well.
These steps remind me of the things we do in our faith. As Christians, we should always be looking to grow but sometimes it is more difficult preparing to grow than it is to grow.
“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
Those of us who have worked a family garden, farmed, or planted food plots, know and understand the concepts Jesus is teaching. The underlying example here is that our heart is the soil, and our lives are the plants. When we take shortcuts and don’t clear properly; when we don’t remove the thorns and stones the success of what has been planted is limited.
Some of us want to grow but don’t want the change so we plant on the path. Without clearing the area, without breaking the ground, and maintaining it the seed doesn’t even sink in. If we don’t allow the love of God past the surface of our heart, how can we expect that anything will be different?? We all have thorns that attempt to choke us out, and each person is fighting different thorns. Greed, alcoholism, drugs, lust, anger, resentment are just a few examples of things that take hold of us and if not removed each has the potential to consume us. Some of us are carrying around stones or burdens; they might be past hurt, worry, grief, or even disappointment. For us to grow those things need to be removed from the soil and new soil brought in.
There is hope and there is a reason for these struggles. As a hunter that makes careful plans and works diligently will receive the greatest reward come the fall, we have a promise from God himself saying “Let me in, let me take root, and stay with you. Let me become part of who you are in your daily life and I will help you to grow and produce fruit thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times over.”
When we have accepted the sacrifice and forgiveness that Jesus has given us, and when we are willing to clear out the things in our life that are holding us back, we will see the joy and reward of our efforts. Have faith, and be diligent. The rain clouds will billow and rolling thunder of spring will come, the same goes for storms in our lives. We can be certain that when we prepare accordingly, the storms we face in life will bring new growth, the same way our fields grow with spring showers.
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.