Move On by Randy Rowley 10/10/15 ©


A hunter who changes positions (moves) while bird hunting is often more successful than those who stay put.  That isn’t just true for quail, pheasant, and chucker hunters, who are almost always on the move – it’s true for dove hunters as well (and sometimes duck hunters).

At an FCS dove hunt on a Saturday in September on the Evans Ranch near San Saba, Ryan, my son, and I started hunting at the edge of a grove of oak trees.  Twenty-five yards in front of me was a grove of Texas gum elastic trees.  When Sid Evans fired the “start hunting” shot, several birds flushed from the trees.  I collected three birds during the initial melee with my Browning Gold Hunter in 12 gauge.

But, I quickly ran into problems – when birds flew over the oak or Texas gum elastic groves, they had already been shot at, often by several hunters, so they were flying at Mach 3.  By the time I got my gun to my shoulder, they were over one grove or the other, and I wouldn’t have time to shoot.  It was an exercise in futility.  So I moved 25 yards to my right and started shooting birds as they flew over the groves.

I have often observed certain hunters getting many shots during bird hunts and others not getting nearly as many.  That was true on that Saturday on the Evans Ranch.  I recommended to two hunters to move either a few or several yards.  I didn’t suggest that they go plop down in front of another hunter – besides being unsafe, it is discourteous, as you’ll probably at least some of the time be shooting at birds that are heading at him.  But if it is safe, and you won’t be encroaching on another hunter’s space, then I will encourage you to move if you’re not getting shots.

Look at the concept of moving while bird hunting, when necessary, like bass fishing from a boat.  If you stay at the same place all day, you’ll be limiting yourself and will probably not be as successful as you would’ve been if you’d moved to several spots on the lake.

Yet, despite my encouragement to move, many hunters stay glued to “their” initial spots and refuse to move.  Their favorite verse appears to be 1 Corinthians 15:58A, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.”

Sometimes God also urges us to move on.  There are several recounts in the Bible where God told someone to move on, but none is more famous than Abram’s story.  Genesis 12:1-4 says, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”

Abram’s response was to move on.  And when he left he was 75 years old!  God came to an old man and told him to leave his country, people, and father, and he didn’t tell him where he wanted him to go!  And Abram’s response was to go.  I might have said something like, “Who are you?” “You want me to do what?” and “You won’t tell me where you want me to go?”

Yet Abram believed God would be true to what he said and put his feet to his belief.  He moved on.  Fifteen years later, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and ultimately fulfilled what he had promised.  But none of this would have happened if Abram hadn’t moved on when God told him to go.

Years later, the Egyptian Pharaoh reneged on his decision to let the Hebrews leave their bondage in Egypt.  The Hebrews were camping by the Red Sea when they saw the Egyptian army approaching.  Exodus 14:15-16 says, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?  Tell the Israelites to move on.  Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.’”  The Israelites were given a choice – move on or be captured and possibly killed by the Egyptians.  And they moved on.

Many people live for the now, but some live in the past.  We refuse to move on from the wrongs we suffered.  We won’t forgive, nor try to forget the bad things that happened to us.  We refuse to move on from past failures and mistakes.  For example, a father who failed at playing baseball as a kid puts unnecessary pressure on his son to win.  Or a mother who didn’t make the cheerleading squad puts undue pressure on her daughter to succeed.  We refuse to give up our “what if?” games.  We try to figure out what would have happened to us if we had married Sally instead of Sue, chosen another major, had another career, etc.

Some people live in the future instead of the present or the past.  They focus on what might come their way and dwell on dealing with those possible issues.  Undoubtedly, there’s nothing wrong with preparing for retirement, old age, etc.  But we mustn’t live in the future – it mustn’t be an obsession.  Too many people cannot enjoy the present because they won’t move on from living in the future.  They say to themselves, “I’ll relax and have fun one day, but while I’m able, I need to spend every moment I can building my nest egg.”

Unfortunately, many Type A driven people create so much stress on themselves to get to the finish line quickly they drop dead of a heart attack or stroke when they reach it.  Like those who live in the past, they need to move on from their obsession with the future.

Although God is timeless, he doesn’t live in the past or the future – he lives in the here and now.  For example, when Jesus was in the garden preparing for his crucifixion, he wasn’t wringing his hands over past decisions.  Nor was he worried about what would happen to his followers in the future.  Jesus said in Luke 22:42, “‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’”  His “cup” was his pending death.  Jesus fixated on the present, his imminent sufferings, and God’s will.

God’s words to us are, “If you’re stuck in the past or fretting over the future – move on.”  We must let go of our failures, our ‘what if?’ games, and others’ wrongdoing.  We must let go of our worrying about and obsessing over planning for the future.  Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  Just as moving on is often crucial to bird hunting success, moving on from the past and moving on from worrying about and obsessing over planning for the future are two of the keys to experiencing an abundant life.

The Rowley’s – Chris, Ryan, Hunter, Claire, and Randy

Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

Bible Verse of the Day

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.