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Outdoor Truths

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Gary Miller
This hunting season has started off a little odd. I’ve not actually been in the woods and yet 2 of the 3 states that surround my home have already opened their season. I wonder if I’m losing my edge. Well, not really. I am excited about going, but there are several factors that have postponed my start. First of all, I prefer a little chill in the air before I start slinging arrows. A good barometer for me is whether or not I can see my breath. I love those cool temperatures. Another reason I have not hunted yet is simply timing. I have either been traveling or getting ready to travel and have needed any extra time for other things. And then lastly, I’m just saving myself.

 Most years, I find myself hunting very hard during November. And since I am usually away from home; I hunt every day, and sometimes all day long. It can really get tiring if one does that for several days in a row. And this year will be even more taxing because of some last minute opportunities. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to equate hunting with working in some salt mine, but just saying that you can get tired. And while many people think that hunting is all I do; it has actually waned over the past few years because of the work that I now do. But I do have to hunt and fish on occasion in order to simply keep the inspirational juices flowing so that I can write. My goal this year is simple. Don’t hunt so hard during September and October, that when November comes around, you will be too tired to give it everything it deserves. Again, I’m saving myself.

 I don’t think that when it comes to my spiritual life that God wants me to save myself. But I also don’t believe that He wants me to throw caution to the wind and do stupid things that hurt my ability to be all He wants me to be in the future as well. Some “martyr” types will proclaim that it is better to “burn out than rust out.” And while these clichés are good sound bites, they really magnify ignorance. I can serve God with the utmost passion, but if I fail to rest, eat right, and exercise, I will soon have a message without an instrument to hold it. When we chose to follow Christ, we cannot separate one part of our life from the other. My spiritual life is not somehow separate from my physical, emotional, vocational, and every other part of my existence. It is all perfectly intertwined and to neglect or abuse one, will be at the detriment of all and is unpleasing to God.
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