December 31, 2011
Today's Photograph . . . . Pants Ripping Fence (MQ)
So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. (NKJV)
Like many who spend a lot of time outdoors, I make deliberate choices in the type of clothing I wear. The terrain I enjoy is also a factor in how I choose certain outdoor equipment. But it seems that no matter how hard I try to prevent damage, I always get rips or tears or punctures.
Thorns are the worst, like those long spikes on honey locusts. I've even had my four-wheeler tires impaled by these things! Thorns can rip apart a nice flannel shirt when you're walking through a thicket. Denim jeans are durable enough, except when crossing a barbed wire fence. There's nothing like ripping out the seat of your pants on a cold day in the field. So I try to wear thorn-proof coveralls, clear my tent site of sharp objects, and protect my sleeping mat from lumpy or sharp projections (often in the middle of night when I wish I had thought of it earlier).
My clothes get ripped and torn. Then I mourn, sometimes a great deal depending on the value of the item. In the Old Testament, it was just the reverse. To express grief or repentance, people would purposely tear their clothing as an outward sign of this inward conviction.
For some, however, the practice became an insincere act, a traditional response that displayed no evidence of a changed heart. Through Joel, God extends an invitation to make a real change--a change of the heart, not the clothes.
New Year's Day is a traditional time to make a change in one's life. New Year's resolutions are made; and after while, many are routinely ignored.
A new year and a new day can begin for anyone who makes a sincere effort to change his heart. Bad habits can be turned over to Jesus; sin can be laid at the Cross. Don't wait until New Year's Day to do it. Rend your heart now and enjoy a refreshing of the Holy Spirit like you've never before experienced; for our Heavenly Father is gracious and merciful, loving and kind.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When crossing a fence, be careful not to damage the owner's property, even if it seems as if it's not in use. If the fence is low and crossable, use your coat as a guard with the outer cover placed against the wire. (Sturdy outerwear generally has tougher outer cloth.) Many times, it's safer to crawl under a fence or use a gate, even if you have to walk a distance. Find a safe way to cross; and always unload your firearm when crossing.