Duck Hunting with Mr. Murphy by Randy Rowley 8/1/15 ©


At around 7:15 AM on a Friday morning in mid-January, seven friends and I hit the road to Port Aransas for a weekend duck hunt.  The fun began just after we stopped for breakfast at the McDonald’s on RR 620 near Hwy 183 in Austin.  My truck was in the lead.  After getting breakfast in the drive-through, I pulled over as far as I could get to the right at the entrance of the parking lot and waited for the other guys to get their food.

I had made this particular right turn many times, as McDonald’s was a frequent stop on my way to duck hunt local lakes, so I thought nothing of it.  But my previous right turns had been made around 3:00 AM, when there was no one on 620.  Now morning rush hour traffic confronted me.

I spotted an opening big enough to fit my truck and my boat and went for it.  I made the turn and then gunned it.  But I didn’t account for my rig being so close to the curb.  At the same time that I gunned my engine, my boat trailer tire hit the curb.  This caused the trailer tire to jump up and centripetal force caused the trailer to roll to the left.   I saw movement in my rear-view mirror, and much to my surprise, witnessed my boat and trailer rolling over.

Fortunately, our 100+ decoys were well strapped in, but several items fell onto 620, including blind bags and buckets.  Miraculously my boat stayed on its trailer, the trailer stayed on the ball, and none of the several cars that were behind and beside us hit any of our stuff.  We, with the help of a kind motorist, were able to get my trailer on both wheels again.  The only damage to my boat was some scrape marks on the left side.

We made it to Port A without further incident, set up camp at the I.B. Magee campground, and went off for our first hunt on our usual island off Wilson’s Cut.  We launched my boat and it ran perfectly down the around one-mile jaunt to the island that we decided to hunt.  After I turned the motor off, Alex and Jake Denison and I then unloaded the guns, blind bags, buckets, Mojos, and dekes.  I then fired the motor back up to go get a load of hunters.  The motor sounded fine, but it died when I put it in forward gear.  Several other attempts to get it to go met with the same results.

I got out of my boat and checked the prop and discovered that a decoy bag rope had wrapped around it.  I freed it and fired the motor back up again.  Putting it in forward gear no longer killed it, but now it only ran at idle speed.  This was not a huge problem as I only had about 100 yards to go to pick up a load of guys on the other side of the cut.

I picked up the first load and ferried them over to the island.  After they offloaded, I went and picked up the remaining hunters.  We put out the dekes and got hidden.  It didn’t take long before ducks started to come in.  Ducks began to fall in short order.  We bagged a limit of 16 redheads (two per hunter) well before sunset.  This hunt proved to be our best.

When we got back to our campsite, Allen Gann worked on my boat’s motor.  He found that the throttle arm had become dislodged.  He put it back into place and secured it with a zip tie.

But, when I fired my boat’s motor up the next morning, it only ran at full power.  When I put it into gear, it would die, so we trailered my boat and drove down to our usual rendezvous point on the cut.  After we launched my boat, I used the trolling motor to ferry the hunters to and from our island.  The redheads were scarcer.  We bagged only 11.  We had not launched my boat from this point before, but we didn’t have any problems trailering it.

After we got back to camp, Allen adjusted my boat’s motor again, and it ran at about two-thirds power during the evening hunt, but also died several times (it was later determined to be a bad fuel pump).  We bagged one more redhead and had three new hunters join us who bagged four redheads.  We again didn’t have any problem trailering my boat.

But, Sunday was a different story.  After bagging five birds, we went to trailer my boat, but the tide had gone out, and we had to back much further into the cut.  My truck couldn’t pull the trailer out of the sticky mud even in four-wheel-drive low.  After numerous attempts, all we succeeded in doing was getting my truck further stuck.  Ron Denison then hooked his truck up to my truck and pulled it, my boat, and half of the trailer out of the mud.  Yes, the trailer had broken in half, and the other half was still stuck!

We pushed my boat back into the water, got the other half of the trailer out of the mud, and went to work on jury-rigging it with rope and wire.  Ron and Binh Chu then went to Corpus Christi and looked at two used trailers that they had found on Craig’s List, while Burl Fulenwider, Alex, Jake and I went to break camp, and Ken Miller stayed with my boat (which I had driven to the end of the cut).

Neither of the trailers that Ron and Binh looked at were suitable for my boat, so Ron put Plan B into effect – he bought two steel bars and used them to connect the wheel yokes with the center yoke (drilling holes through the bars and yokes and securing them with large bolts, nuts, and lock washers).  In a few minutes, he made my boat’s trailer stronger than ever.

We finally arrived at my house 5 1/4 hours later than we normally did.  Although we had more than our share of trials on this trip and we were worn out and disappointed from only seeing about 5% of the ducks that we normally saw, we conducted ourselves like Christ and worked the problems as a team.

Did you know that Jesus spoke about Murphy’s Law?  He said in John 16:33, ““I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.””

Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “What can go wrong might go wrong.”  Instead, He promised that meeting Mr. Murphy is inevitable.  All of us are going to meet Mr. Murphy throughout our lives.  No matter if we’re rich or poor; well educated or a middle school dropout; raised by the best family or none at all; white, black or some other color – we’re all going to experience trials from our births to our deaths.  But, we can have victory if we belong to Jesus!

1 Corinthians 15:56-57 says, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Psalm 20:6 says, “Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed.  He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.”  Psalm 60:12 says, “With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.”

Imagine that there is a Christian encyclopedia.  If you looked up trials, you’d find the Apostle Paul’s picture there.  When Paul wrote Galatians 6:17b, “…for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus,” he meant it!  He wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 that he had to endure beatings, whippings, jailings, accusations, shipwrecks, and a stoning.  He lived in constant danger.  He went without food, water, and shelter.  He also apparently had a medical issue, likely with his eyes.  Galatians 4:15b says, “I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.”

If anyone had a right to complain about Mr. Murphy, it was Paul!  Instead of complaining, he reacted to Mr. Murphy with joy.  Colossians 1:24a (NASB) says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake.”  Paul rejoiced that Christians considered him worthy to suffer for the name of the Lord.  Paul didn’t experience victory just because he belonged to Jesus.  He experienced victory because of how he responded to Mr. Murphy.

We also didn’t experience victory on that trip because the trip ended and Mr. Murphy finally left us alone.  We experienced victory because of how we responded.

A certainty in life is you are going to meet Mr. Murphy – probably many times.  Do you complain when you meet him, or do you rejoice in your sufferings?  If you do not do the latter, I encourage you to pray to the Lord that he will give you a new attitude.

Ken, Ron, and Randy
Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

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