Apr
06

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

By

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

He also said that 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, 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 and fishing, we’ll all agree that they’re expensive hobbies.  The only ways they’re cost-effective is 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 that the landowner doesn’t charge you to use.  I said “nearby” because the cost of gas 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 and fishing gear takes a lot of effort to maintain.  Hunting is hard on boots, clothes, guns, scopes, binoculars, bows, arrows, broadheads, decoys, laser range finders, etc.  Fishing is hard on rods, reels, lures, hooks, bobbers, weights, fishing line, etc.  Both are hard on vehicles, knives, and flashlights.  Add camping gear, a boat, a 4-wheeler, and a dog to the mix, and you’ve got a new list of things that have to be maintained.

Secondly, the act of 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 that are an hour or less away), get dressed (including waders), meet up with your friends, drive to the lake, get everything in the boat and launch it, put out the decoys, hide, hunt, pack everything up, take the boat back to the ramp and trailer it, drive back home, clean the ducks, 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.  I 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!

Lastly, 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 own ineptitude or being blunter – we missed the deer or hog.

Considering these things, it’s no wonder that some of us are stingy when asked to share our harvest.  It’s easy to develop an attitude that screams, “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!”

This attitude forgets the principle that God owns everything.  Psalms 19:21 says, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”  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 the Lord’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, not us.

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 have the ambition to serve God with everything we have and to want to become more like him.

Self-preoccupation and vain self-interest, such as moving up the ladder at work, church, or in social or service organizations, can even drive Christians.  Our desire for advancement sometimes manifests itself as self-promotion or manipulation.  That is what Paul meant by “selfish ambition.”  As a Christian’s self-absorption, selfish ambition, and conceit die, a concern for the needs of others replaces them.  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.”  As we grow in the Lord, we develop a new heart of love for others and no longer have a selfish heart of stone.

If your church, body of believers, or club has a wild game dinner that serves people in need, I encourage you to share your harvest generously.  Don’t ask the Lord 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 the Lord if you should initiate one.  Or look for other opportunities to share his harvest with those in need.

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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