February 8, 2012
Today's Photograph . . . . Icy, Partly Frozen Mountainsides (MQ)
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed.
As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.Whoever has ears, let them hear."(NIV)
During an elk hunt in New Mexico last December, we had a day of rain followed by a day of snow. Hiking on partly frozen snow-covered mountainsides was quite treacherous. As the morning wore on, I put less thought into where I was walking.
As soon as I stopped paying attention to my footing, I slipped on an icy rock, dropped my rifle, hit the ground hard, and slid several feet before coming to a stop in a painful heap of camo and mud. I was fortunate to wind up with only nasty scrapes and bruises. The sad part was that I knew better. (One of the last things my dad said that morning was, "Watch your step!") All I needed to do was heed the signs, listen to my Dad, and respect my environment.
More than once Jesus said, "He who has ears, let him hear." In one parable Jesus compared our ears to soil. In each of the cases that He described, the seed was the same seed, the sower the same sower, and the message the same. What was different? The listener.
It's not that we don't have ears; it's that we don't use them. It's one thing to not hear and so, not to know. It's another to hear, but not learn.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do." James 1:22-26 (NIV).
That morning in the woods, I should have listened to my Dad's advice. Instead I thought I knew better than he and didn't heed his words of caution. If I had just listened and acted on what he said, I might have avoided the painful fall.
God loves you, and just wants an opportunity to show you that He does. Take time to really listen to Him when He talks to you.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
I'm a flatlander and although I've put hundreds of miles on my hiking boots in mountainous terrain, that's where I'm most likely to fall! If you're like me (and well over 40), listen and heed my advice--take your time. If the ground is wet and/or icy, but you have traversed many a slope or stepped on many rocks without incident, there's going be one waiting for you! Always wear over-the-ankle shoes in rocky terrain and keep them snug to avoid a strain or sprain. If you sprain an ankle, depending on your location, ruining your hunt may be the least of your worries.