Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . It's Not About Me, and It's Not About Now  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 1:19-27
Now this was John's testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and  Levites to  ask him who he was.  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Messiah."   They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"  He said, "I am not."    "Are you the Prophet?"   He answered, "No."  Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.'" Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? "I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." (NIV)
I have had the worst luck when it comes to drawing an Arizona archery bull elk tag.  It took 17 years to draw my first tag.  But boy when I did, I planned the hunt of a lifetime! 

I started scouting months and months in advance.  Began fine tuning my bow months before the hunt.  I had waited a long time for this and I was not going to miss an opportunity to take the bull of a lifetime.  I joked with my family that I would have that bull tagged 20 minutes into the hunt opening morning. 

As fate would have it, 5 minutes into the hunt opening morning there stood a decent bull 20 yards away.  I was at full draw and the only thing left was the release, the vital hit, and the tracking.  The only thing wrong was I had waited all of my life for a chance at a world class bull and this was not it. 

I did not take the shot.  I wanted a wall hanger for everyone to see.  As Paul Harvey would say, now let's get to the rest of the story.  I went home without an elk on my first ever elk hunt.  I have taken many friend and family members out and they have taken very nice bulls.  On this hunt, I passed on many smaller bulls. 

When I focused more on what everyone else would think of me after I brought home a record class bull elk, I lost sight of the purpose.  The focus was all about me and not about my lifelong passion for being in the wild with elk, hunting them, photographing them, and enjoying this God given creature in all of its beauty and majesty. 

When it became all about me, the hunt ended that opening morning 5 minutes into the hunt. 
(Donny N)

When the Pharisees went and questioned John the Baptist about who he really was they not only asked him once, but three times, "Who are you, are you the Messiah?" 

John could have taken all of the credit, he could have said, yes it is I the Messiah the one the Father sent, but he didn't.  He confessed freely, "I am not the Messiah." 

My favorite part is how he humbles himself with saying, "But among you stands one you do not know.  He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."  Not only is he saying, "I'm not the one who has been foretold (one you do not know).  But drops face first (figuratively) and in complete humility says, "He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."  In total humility proclaims "I'M NOT WORTHY." 

The whole point of this part of scripture is this, John witnesses as to whom Jesus is (the Messiah) and secondly he proclaims. "I am not the Messiah."  In short he is saying, "Don't look at me!" 

I encourage you this week to write this on your mirror and say it to yourself every morning and mean it.  "It's not about me, and it's not about now."  Brothers and sisters, it's all about Him who came before us and it's all about eternity." 

That hunt was all about me, and I was left empty.  Don't let selfishness empty you. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
It's one thing to know survival skills and another to actually do them.  On your next outing practice building a shelter, finding water, and especially building a fire.  If you can do it under safe and controlled conditions, then you will have the confidence to do it when the difficult times come. Remember the number one cause of death when a person is lost is pride, not willing to admit your lost, and the 2nd is panic.  If you have the confidence to know you can do it, you will have a much better chance of survival.  The best way to build a fire is always, always carry matches or a lighter.  So if you don't have any, you need to learn how to build a fire with alternative methods.