Rattled by Randy Rowley 10/10/08 ©


On a lukewarm November morning, I sat in my wood ground blind on my lease near Georgetown and stared at white fluff (fog) for 2 ½ hours.  Nothing was moving, not even squirrels.  The fog finally dissipated around 9:00 AM, but that didn’t make anything start moving.  It was getting late in the morning, so I decided to see if I could make something happen by rattling.

Crack!  The sound of the two antlers crashing together interrupted the silence and made a flock of dove take flight, screaming in alarm.  I waited for about four seconds and did it again.

I’ve only once witnessed two bucks fight in person, and it wasn’t much of one as both bucks were young and small.  But I’ve seen mature bucks fight many times on videos.  Those battles were violent, loud, and sometimes fatal.  They’d crash together like trucks at a demolition derby.  Although rattling quietly is the way to go if bucks have been spotted, rattling too quietly is often a mistake.

In addition to banging the antlers together, I moved the tines rapidly back and forth.  I waited about half a minute and rattled again.  This mimicked bucks that’d temporarily separated and then crashed into each other again.  I didn’t rattle long – no more than five minutes.  I decided to wait ten minutes and then try it again.

About eight minutes later, I saw movement around 150 yards away.  A buck was coming straight towards me at a fast trot through heavy woods.  His nose was to the ground, and his ears looked tense.  He undoubtedly was looking for what he thought were two bucks fighting.

He stopped around 100 yards away and looked around.  He looked like he had six points.  I was hunting for meat, so I decided to take him.  I put my scope’s crosshairs on his chest, held my breath, and squeezed the trigger of my Remington Model 700 in .25-06.  He ran into heavy woods, but I knew I‘d hit him as he ran with his belly low to the ground, which usually means a lung shot.  I lost sight of him, so I waited half an hour for him to lay down and die.

I walked to where he’d stood when I shot him.  I found bright red blood, which confirmed a lung or heart shot, and started to follow the blood trail.  After about 75 yards, the blood trail became a river.

I found him piled up around 100 yards from where I’d shot him.  He ended up being a five-pointer.  My bullet had gone straight through his heart.  Although his rack wasn’t big, I’ll remember him for the rest of my life because he was the first to respond to my call.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments are recounts of God the Father or Jesus, calling people to a specific task and the Holy Spirit filling believers.  Many of the people God called were calm, cool, and collected – there is no evidence they were rattled.  Some examples include:

  • God told Abram to leave his country, people, and father’s household and go to the land God would show him. (See Genesis 12:1-3).  Genesis 12:4 says, “So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.  Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.”
  • God commanded Noah to build an ark to save his family and two of every creature from a flood when it hadn’t rained on the earth. (See Genesis 6:5-9:17).  Genesis 6:22 says, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
  • God commanded Joshua to have the Israelite army walk around a fortified city named Jericho for six days in silence and walk around it seven times on the seventh day, with the priests blowing trumpets.  After completing the seventh lap, the priests were to blow a long blast on the trumpets, and then the soldiers were to give a loud shout.  Joshua had the Israelites do what God commanded.  On the seventh day, after the seventh lap around the city, the priests blew a long blast on the trumpets, the soldiers gave a loud shout, and the stone walls collapsed. (See Joshua 5:13 – 6:27.)
  • Jesus called Andrew, Simon, James, and John to follow him as full-time disciples.  They left their jobs (including their fishing boats and nets) and families and followed him. (See Luke 5:1-11.)
  • After Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit filled the depressed and defeated disciples with boldness on the day of Pentecost.  They preached to a large crowd, and three thousand people became Christians. (See Acts chapter 2).
  • Saul (later called Paul) was blinded on the road to Damascus. After Ananias healed him, Saul, also called Paul, started several churches, converted hundreds of Gentiles, and wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else. (See Act 9:1-19).

But some people who God called were rattled.  Here are two examples:

  • When God called Moses to lead his people out of bondage in Egypt (see Exodus 3:1 – 4:17), Moses was so rattled he raised several objections.  Moses finally said in Exodus 4:13b, “…O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”  But God didn’t give up on Moses, and although sometimes the complaining and stubborn Hebrews rattled him, he was never rattled by God again.  He became the deliverer.
  • When God called Gideon to battle the Midianites and Amalekites (see Judges 6:33 – 7:25), Gideon was so rattled he tested God twice.  First, he asked for a fleece he put on the ground to be wet in the morning and the ground around it to be dry (see Judges 6:36 – 38).  When that happened, Gideon tested God again and asked for the ground to be wet and the fleece to be dry the following morning.  It happened as he asked.  Although Gideon raised an army of 32,000 men to fight Israel’s enemies, they were heavily outnumbered.  But God whittled the army down to only 300 men.  God then used Gideon to perform a miracle and wipe out Israel’s enemies.

Paul assured the Ephesians Christians shouldn’t be rattled by anything because of who we are in Christ.  Ephesians 1:3-14 (NLT) says:

  • God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (verse 3).
  • God chose us before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (verse 4).
  • God decided in advance to adopt us as his sons through Jesus (verse 5).
  • God freely gives us his glorious grace (verse 6).
  • We have redemption through Jesus’s blood and the forgiveness of sins (verse 7).
  • God lavishes the riches of his grace on us with all wisdom and understanding (verse 8).
  • God made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure (verse 9).
  • God chose us in advance and makes everything work out according to his plan (verse 11).
  • Having believed in Jesus, God identified us as his own by giving us the promised Holy Spirit, who guarantees the inheritance God promised, and God purchased us to be his people so we would praise and glorify him (verses 13-14).

A shortening of that passage is God has blessed, chosen, predestined, given to, redeemed, forgiven, lavished grace on, educated, and marked us with the seal of the Holy Spirit!  When we realize these truths, absolutely nothing can rattle us!

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Not some things – all things.  The key to doing all things is acting through Christ and not our efforts.

God has always been in the business of calling people, and he continues to call people to this day.  Have you been rattled by something God has called you to do?  If so, I encourage you to obey him, recognize who you are in Christ, and believe you can do all things through him.  Through obedience and stepping out in faith, you’ll no longer be rattled.

Randy’s five-pointer

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Bible Verse of the Day

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”