Open Season is finally upon us! As we enter into another season it had been said that every year the number of hunters entering the woods is dwindling. The future of hundreds of years of tradition hangs in the balance, the conservation of thousands of miles of forest and all of the animals within them. Surveys done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that only about 5% of Americans, 16 years and older, actually hunt. That is half of what it was 50 years ago, and it’s expected to continually decline in the near future.
As an outdoorsman, and as a person who loves the beautiful scenery and landscape God has surrounded us with, this is very concerning. We see the initiatives to get the next generation of hunters into the woods. Archery programs, youth hunt days, events and competitions for firearms. Yet, we are still seeing doors closing to Mom and Pop outdoor shops and clubs. Businesses that have been there for generations, and have been part of our hunting culture all of our lives at times.
I say this because there is a growing problem in our churches that looks very similar. The importance to raise the next generation of hunters is very similar to the importance to raise the next generation of Christians. The biggest difference is that the loss of our faith, the loss of our voice, has eternal implications.
Similar to the fight to continue our hunting and fishing traditions, and conserve our forests, there are things we can do to prevent the loss of our faith to the world. But will we? Jesus says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:36-37
There are many in our society who are broken and hurting; empty and lost in the world they find themselves living in. Looking for answers to impossible questions, looking for healing to seemingly incurable illnesses like drug addiction, alcoholism, greed, anger and the like. Most questions in summary would be best asked, “Why?” I am not implying that we as Christians have all the answers to life’s questions. BUT WHILE WE DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS WE KNOW WHO DOES!
It is our responsibility to let everyone know, not in just our words but with our actions and our lives. It is our job to make it obvious, so let’s paint them a picture, something they can see and feel and make them ask new questions. “Why are they so happy?” “Why does it seem like they don’t let things slow them down?” “Why do they love me when I hate them?!” We should walk in a way that when people walk by it’s as if we held a sign that said we are REDEEMED! As obvious as a football jersey or an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt!
As hunters we are pushing to conserve all of the things we love. As Christians it’s time we step up and do the same. As Father’s and Mother’s, Co-workers and Friends, in every area of our lives. Jesus said “Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
What Jesus is saying is “It is open season, get out of the cabin, stop sitting around. It’s time to harvest! These people need to know how much I love them!”
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.
God Bless You!