First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Deer Jesus

November 28, 2018

I am not the best hunter in the world. I try to think like the animal I'm seeking to harvest though.  It usually means I overthink the plan and end up being duped by the animal.  Or, I'll get complacent about the animal and reduce it to a dumb creature that I can outsmart.  Case in point, my antlered deer hunting failures have accumulated to an astronomical number that we won't discuss in any detail here.  Here is what I know about these forest creatures. They have a whole set of senses I do not possess.

    Okay, I will relent and tell you a few of my failures in hunting.  How about the time I was sitting on a small hill looking down into the brush and a small grass path.  I had been there about 20 minutes and was becoming bored and a little cold.  I grabbed my thermos filled with piping hot coffee and proceeded to pour a cup. As I shivered and held the cup, I noticed movement not 15 yards right in front of me on the path.  Yes, there standing broadside was an antlered deer peering curiously at me. It knew something wasn't right.  I'm not sure if it was me staring back and shivering, the steam coming out of my coffee cup, or the smell of brew wafting toward it.  Long story short, as I lowered the cup to grab my rifle (resting on the ground) the deer bolted into the woods and I'm sure I heard it snicker as it ran.

    Or, another moment frozen in my mind happening just yesterday.  Did I mention how poor of a hunter I am?  Okay, just checking.  I walked into the wooded valley and found a heavily traveled deer trail. Off to one side was an elevated mound surrounded by large Hemlocks.  This will be perfect!  I nestled against the largest tree and began the wait.  I noted the stiff wind was coming from behind the tree and hitting my back.  What hunter wants to sit and face the frigid arctic wind?  Not this intelligent person!  I would stay warmer facing away from the wind!  Man, am I smart.?.?  (This is a rhetorical statement and not a question.)

    Within ten minutes, I heard a slight scuffle and looked to my right to see a small four-point buck grazing (not legal to shoot).  It had walked right behind me and was upwind of me.  It didn't know I was there. Hmmm, what to do? I grabbed my camera and began recording its movements.  A few minutes elapsed and I saw its head jerk back to look behind me.  It was at this moment I realized my failure.  Sure enough, another deer (six-point buck and legal to harvest) was walking right behind me too. I smartly reversed my phone camera and began blindly snapping pictures behind me.  The deer posed in this picture unsure what I was but not feeling especially threatened either.

     Most 'smart' hunters would have braved the stiff breeze and sat facing the wind, would have seen the deer approaching, and probably harvested the eligible deer.  Not this boy!  I'm too smart for that.....

I did eventually get a shot at the six-point and that through thick brush and tree limbs.  Yes, it is still alive, grazing in that woods, and still wondering what that loud report was.  Strangely, after the shot, both deer ran back toward me and used the same trail they had walked in on. Again, I'm certain I heard a few deer giggles....

      The Bible speaks about Jesus returning to this earth and He will come unannounced. He will be like a thief in the night and without warning will arrive to fulfill scriptural prophesy. As much as we try to comprehend the scriptures and ready ourselves for His return, we'll occasionally get bored or distracted.  We'll expend hours trying to fully know when Jesus will arrive, we'll attend Bible studies to fill our heads with perfect foresight. We'll need to think like Jesus and be one step ahead of him. We'll feel pretty good about our status.

      Except, when we are distracted and busy doing other things, we'll hear a scuffle to our right and see Jesus staring at us.  We'll try to figure out what we should do. We'll consider our decisions and wonder if we made the correct one to follow Him. Some will blindly grab their phones and begin snapping pictures or deftly seize their Bibles and begin reading feverishly about Jesus in hopes of understanding their options.  God forbid that some will think, "I am too late. I have frittered away opportunities to say yes to Him."  Make the wise choice to face into God's will to receive His Son and be ready when Jesus approaches

      "Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day

       of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, NIV)

Today, while it is still called 'today' make a conscious decision to follow Jesus with every ounce of fiber in your body and remain vigilant to love and serve Him in this world.  Don't find yourself startled by His sudden appearance one day.

                                                                        "A Musing Pastor"

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