Oct
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Move On by Randy Rowley 10/10/15 ©

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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 a Saturday afternoon FCS dove hunt in September on the Evans Ranch near San Saba, 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 out from the trees.  I collected three birds in the initial melee with my Browning Gold Hunter 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.  I then moved 25 yards to my right and started shooting birds as they flew over the groves.

I have often observed some hunters getting many shots during bird hunts and others not getting nearly as many.  That was true that day on the Evans Ranch.  I recommended to a couple of hunters that they 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 have been if you had moved to several spots around 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 urges us to move on as well.  There are several accounts 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! Imagine this – God comes to a 75-year old man and tells him to leave his country, people, and father and he won’t even tell him where he wants him to go!  And Abram’s response was simply to go.  I might have said something like, “Who are you?” “You want me to do what?” and “You won’t tell me now 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 had not moved on when God told him to go.

Years later, the Egyptian Pharaoh reneged on his decision to let the Israelites leave their bondage in Egypt.  The Israelites 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 by the Egyptians.  And they moved on.

Many of us live for the now, but some of us live in the past.  We refuse to move on from the wrongs that we have suffered.  We won’t forgive, nor do we try to forget what happened to us.  We refuse to move on from past failures and mistakes.  For example, a father who failed at playing baseball as a youth puts unnecessary pressure on his son to succeed.  Or a mother who failed in her bid to become a cheerleader 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, taken another job offer, etc.

Some of us live in the future instead of the present or the past.  We focus on what might come our way and dwell on dealing with those possible issues.  Undoubtedly, there is nothing wrong with preparing for retirement, old age, etc.  But we must not live in the future – it must not 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 for themselves in getting to the finish line that they drop dead of a heart attack or stroke when they finally 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.  Nor does he live in 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.

His 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 insecurities, worry about the future, and our belief that we can avoid the realities of life because we’re preparing better than the average Joe.  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 the future are two of the keys to experiencing abundant life.

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

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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