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May 19, 2013

Location, Location, Location

Well, it finally happened. On Tuesday of last week I was blessed to be able to harvest turkey number three and tag out for the first time in my life during the spring gobbler season. As it was just starting to get light, a gobbler that I had hunted unsuccessfully the previous morning began sounding off at a feverish clip, giving my buddy and me a good opportunity to pinpoint where he was and set up on him. We decided to split up on him, sitting in different spots along a field edge with the roosted gobbler in the woods behind us. The bird eventually pitched down after gobbling up the tree for over an hour, got quiet and disappeared for a bit, then reappeared along with two hens out in the field and out of my shooting range. He started gobbling and strutting again, paying no attention to my Avian X decoy, and all I could do was to helplessly watch the show. What we didn't know was that there was another gobbler in the vicinity, which quietly worked its way into the hunt and appeared next to my buddy's decoy. Upon him shooting that bird, the first gobbler ran right back near me on the edge of the field and I harvested him at around 40 yards. If the bird that my buddy shot doesn't show up out of the clear blue, neither of us likely kill a bird. Needless to say, it was a divinely crafted morning with both of us tagging out at nearly the same time.

1 Corinthians 13:1 (NIV)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

The interesting thing about that morning's hunt was that neither of us called the first time to any of these birds. See, most of the birds we set up on during the past couple of weeks were call shy, and talking to them even just a little bit caused many of them to move away from us. In fact, I have never been a huge proponent of mastering the art of turkey calling, primarily because I have heard some pretty poor sounding live hens in the woods and also because I have never heard someone call a gobbler into a location that he didn't want to be. Alternatively, the biggest factor in our success this day was our location and our actions. We were both able to strategically set up between the roosted gobbler and the field, and make the right moves and decisions at the right times in order to harvest those birds. For me in particular, had I not eased into a standing position behind a large tree while the gobbler was out in the field, I would not have had enough visibility for a shot when he ran back to me.

Replaying this hunt in my mind, it reminded me of the situations we can find ourselves in when ministering to those in need. Some of us inherently find ourselves out of position to really be effective in the lives of others, but attempt to make up for that with lofty talk and spiritual 'babble' that often turns them away. (By the way, that usually works as well on humans as it does with turkeys!) Others, though, have the uncanny ability to read a situation at hand, position themselves strategically to be able to do what is needed at just the right time, and never have to say a word in the process. Ironically, it is in the times where God's love is demonstrated by meeting a need without expressing unnecessary words that often earns us the opportunity to share our "God" story.

How about you - when it comes to loving one another, are you merely talking the talk, or are you walking the walk? Are you staying aware of the needs around you, and positioning yourself to be able to assist, or do you find yourselves more times than not talking a good game but not having anything real to show for it? I encourage you to seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, say less, and do more. - GE


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