Over the past five decades I have enjoyed every opportunity to share with folks my passion for fishing and hunting. One of the common disciplines that is required to master both sports is patience. Whether you are slip hunting from tree to tree, sitting in a tree stand, or dunking a bait in your favorite fishing hole, it is critical to practice a great deal of patience if you hope to be successful. A frantic or hurried approach to these activities usually chases off game.
In our fast-paced, instant-everything society, it’s refreshing when we’re forced to take life at God’s pace rather than ours. Fish and wildlife do not fret about the diseases and emotions associated with stress. Undisturbed, animals are rarely hurried or anxious. To be successful in the outdoors and life we must slow our pace down and listen to God. God’s plan for all His creation is one of balance and order. It is difficult for us to listen to God through the noise and competition of technology, the media, and an over-committed schedule. We need those special quiet times of communication and fellowship with the Lord; times to recreate, reflect, rest, and restore.
Many sportsmen have experienced the wonderful tranquility the outdoors provides. Through the rustling of the trees, chirping of the birds, and rushing of water over the falls we can hear God’s quiet, still voice.
I am continually amazed that during Christ’s three and a half years of ministry, He was never in a hurry or a rush. He was always that perfect model of “balance.” In the Gospel accounts, we discover that Jesus often took time to get away from the crowd to be alone with His Father. Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Jesus lived in constant communion with the Father. And if Jesus, the Son of God, needed that level of connection with the Father, how much more do we need fellowship with Him? Jesus still bids us, “Come away by yourself to a lonely place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)
So often we simply shoot up a prayer to God in haste on our way to another meeting or at mealtime. I’m as guilty as the next person for neglecting to spend the time alone with the Lord that I truly need. But during those times when I’m in the woods, on the water alone, or simply walking my dog, I’ve had some deep, meaningful times with my Lord. Purpose to follow Jesus’ example and withdraw to “lonely places often to pray.”
Scripture Reading: Psalm 9:1-10
Personal Application: Take out your calendar and schedule a time to be with the Lord alone in the next few days. When you meet with Him, praise Him, thank Him,
enjoy Him, commune with Him, simply talk to Him. Intercede on behalf of others.
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5