Apr
06

Sharing His Harvest by Randy Rowley 4/6/12 ©

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Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, best known for his “You might be a Redneck” skits, created a routine a few years ago where he pretended to scold his off-stage wife for not being appreciative when he brought her the world’s most expensive meat.  He said he incurred the following expenses:

“$500 – lease

$800 – new rifle and scope

$150 – camo clothes

$50 – magazines

$200 – bullets

$6,000 – 4 wheeler

$500 – food for the lease

$8,200 – total”

(I realize the price for the lease is considerably off now.)

He also said he averaged killing one deer each season, and after processing, he came home with 50 pounds of meat.  Divide $8,200 spent by 50 pounds of meat, and you get $164/pound!  As he points out in the skit – lobster doesn’t cost that much!

Although most of us don’t spend nearly that much every year on hunting, fishing, and sport shooting, we’ll all agree they’re expensive hobbies.  Hunting and fishing are cost-effective if you own land and a pond or go on self-chartered fishing trips on nearby bodies of water or self-guided hunts on nearby public land or land the landowner doesn’t charge you to use.  I said “nearby” because gas, lodging, and food will make even a no-cost-to-hunt or no-cost-to-fish trip expensive if the land or body of water is far away.

Also, compared to procuring meat at a grocery store, hunting and fishing are much more difficult.

For starters, hunting or fishing takes a lot of effort.  Take a self-guided duck hunt, for example.  You’ve got to get up at 2:30 AM (for lakes an hour or less away), get dressed (including breathable waders), meet your friends, get everything in the boat, drive to the lake, launch the boat, find a place to hunt (in the dark), put out the decoys, hide, hunt, pack everything up, drive the boat back to the ramp and trailer it, drive back home, clean the ducks (if you get any), wash your dirty clothes, clean your boat, gun, waders, shells, etc., and put everything back in its place.

Even if you limit out, you’ll only bring home a few pounds of meat for around a nine-hour trip.  One can get the same amount of better-tasting meat at a nearby grocery store in about 30 minutes and not have to leave home at 3:00 AM!

Secondly, there is no guarantee of success.  We’re often skunked despite extensive research and planning, perfect stand or decoy placement, and putting the bait three inches from the bass’ nose sometimes (or often).  Even worse is being skunked due to our ineptitude, such as missing the deer or hog.

Lastly, hunting and fishing gear takes a lot of effort to maintain.  Hunting is hard on boots, clothes, guns, scopes, binoculars, bows, arrows, broadheads, decoys, laser rangefinders, night vision monoculars, etc.  Fishing is hard on rods, reels, lures, hooks, bobbers, weights, fishing line, etc.  Both are hard on vehicles, knives, and flashlights.  Add a boat, a 4-wheeler, camping gear, and a dog to the mix, and you’ve got a new list of things having to be maintained.

Considering these things, it’s no wonder some of us are stingy when we’re asked to share our harvest.  It’s easy to develop the following attitude, “I worked hard for this meat, enduring countless hours in cold and uncomfortable deer stands, duck blinds, or hot and dusty fields, and I’m gonna keep it!”

That attitude forgets the principle that God owns everything.  Psalms 23:1-2 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters,” and 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

That attitude forgets the principle that if we have success, it’s due to God’s plan.  We can get on the best deer lease in the country, buy the best equipment, and feed six times a day year-round, but if it’s not God’s plan for you to get a deer, it won’t happen.  Or, to put it another way, we harvested what we did because God allowed it; therefore, our harvest all belongs to him and not us.  Job 12:10 says, “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind,” and Psalms 19:21 says, “You can make many plans, but God’s purpose will prevail.”

Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”  Note that not all ambition is selfish.  It’s good to desire to serve God with everything we have and want to become more like Jesus.

Although it shouldn’t, self-preoccupation and vain self-interest, such as moving up the ladder at work, church, or in social or service organizations, can obsess Christians.  Our desire for advancement sometimes manifests itself as self-promotion or manipulation.  That’s what Paul meant by “selfish ambition” in Philippians 2:3a.

Christians can cause their self-absorption, selfish ambition, and conceit to die by developing a concern for the needs of others and putting it to work.  Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”  We’ll only grow in the Lord if we develop a new heart of love for others and allow our selfish heart of stone to die.

If your church, body of believers, or club serves people in need via a wild game dinner, I encourage you to share your harvest generously.  Don’t ask God how much of your harvest you should share – instead, ask him how much of his harvest you should keep.  If your church, body of believers, or club doesn’t host such a dinner, ask God if you should initiate one or look for other opportunities to share his harvest with those in need.

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/

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