Shooting Time by Mark Dillow, 2008 ©


Last weekend I snuck away for a morning of duck hunting with several friends…a few of which I only met for the first time that morning.

I love to duck hunt.  I love everything about it.  But there is a certain tension in duck hunting that I have experienced in no other pursuit…the wait for legal shooting time.

All hunting season regulations define the legal shooting time.  But for some reason, it doesn’t vex my consciousness when on other hunts like it does when I am hunting ducks.

Once I get settled into the blind, the minutes seem to drag by.  I can’t see much usually, but often I hear the sounds of the marsh. Sometimes I hear wings overhead, with that sound of ripping silk as ducks lock up and sit down on the water.  Other times I hear the sound of dozens of birds taking flight from the water, spooked by hunters on the way to their blind.

The thing that I notice most of all when I am waiting for shooting light is the intensity with which I watch, as if by staring into the dark I can actually see through it.  There is a strong hope for the promise of birds on the wing with that magic minute passes and someone declares “ok boys, its shooting time.”

I think I am so intent on watching because I don’t know what the day may bring.  I know that there is a possibility of success or failure, and that no two hunts are ever the same.  There is a keen sense of anticipation.  There is also the hope that all of the work in preparing for the hunt…sharpening shooting skills, building blinds, practicing your hail and feeding calls, painting and preparing decoys, etc., will pay off.

The Bible tells us we are to watch with keen anticipation for the return of Christ because he will return like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2).  Those who watch with anticipation do so because they are prepared.  They do so because they long to see the one who died for their sin.

What about you? Are you watching with the intensity of an early morning hunt waiting for that sound…not of ducks on the wing, but trumpets announcing the return of Christ?

If that scares you, rather than excites you, then it’s probably because you aren’t ready.

The Bible tells us how we can be ready.  The book of Romans tells us that “all have sinned and have come short” of God’s requirement of sinless perfection.  And that what we deserve for our sin is an eternity apart from God.  But God loved us so much that he made a way for us to be in a right relationship with him, free from the penalty of our sin.  That way is through his son, Jesus Christ, and his death in your place.  To be ready for Christ’s return, we need to understand and confess our position as sinners, and accept Christ’s substitutionairy death in our place, and allow him to be Lord of our lives.  We take ourselves out of control of our lives, and give that control to Christ. Then we too can watch with anticipation without fear with other spiritual hunters for “shooting time.”

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

A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous.