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January 14, 2014

Staying on the 'X'

I can recall a few waterfowl hunts over the years during the September goose season, the early season for wood ducks and in the late season for mallards where my buddies and I found ourselves in just the right spot. It was during these hunts where the waterfowl seemed to be downright determined to get in the blind with us! Occasions like these are what we often refer to as "being on the x". One of the best waterfowl hunts I remember being a part of was a few years back when most of water around our setup was frozen up, with the exception of our little hole which had just enough moving water to keep it from freezing. It wound up being by far the wildest display of in-your-face decoying of big ducks that I have ever experienced. My dad was with us that morning as well, which made it extra special, and we really put a hurting on the green heads and Canada's that day. However, most of the time, the waters surrounding our hole are open, and when that's the case, the 'x' is usually several hundred yards or so down the creek from the edge of where we have permission to hunt. And although we often witness a great display of birds from our setup, a few passing shots is generally all we wind up getting. The 'x', the honey hole, the funnel - all terms that sportsmen use to describe being in just the right spot to experience some incredible encounters with wildlife and hopefully harvest game. And when you're there, it is relatively easy to have success. However, most of us are rarely fortunate enough to be there consistently. It takes many hours of study, research, scouting, preparation, and hours spent in the woods, fields, and swamps to figure out precisely the desired location of the game we seek.

John 15:12-17 (NASB)
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.

Just like what we see play out in the outdoors, there also exists a spiritual 'x', or what is more commonly referred to as a 'sweet spot'. This is the precise position where we are in tune with God and how He wants to use us to bring others closer to Him and bring Him glory. In Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot, Max Lucado details how we all have a sweet spot, where our unique combination of talents, gifts, and passions is best used in God’s service. When we live in our sweet spot, we experience the delight of serving God. Lucado does not promise that our lives in the sweet spot will be without sacrifice or suffering, but he explains how serving God from there can lead to a deep sense of well-being and joy. Sadly, Lucado notes that an overwhelming majority of adults are still yet to find or dial in precisely to their unique sweet spot.

Many of us lost a friend, a cheerleader, a mentor, a servant leader this week in Meg Menzies. Meg excelled at living out of her sweet spot as a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a runner - being one of the best examples of Christ that many of us have encountered. May you live your life in honor of Meg from this day forward, striving to find and then live daily out of your unique sweet spot in service to others. - GE

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