Jun
11

The Moment of Truth by Randy Rowley 6/11/11 ©

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On a Friday in late March, eight friends and I headed to the Walters Ranch near Jarrell for an FCS self-guided hog hunt.  Ken Miller and I hunted the tallest stand and, despite putting out a 5-gallon bucket of hog bait and a sack of corn, the only animals we saw during our five hunts were deer and a hen turkey.

On the second night, we hunted until around 10:45 PM.  As nothing was moving, we checked the feeders the other hunters weren’t hunting at.  We left shells in our rifle magazines but not in their chambers and got in my truck.  Nothing was at the first feeder, but the next one had some animals under it.  It took my tired brain a couple of seconds to realize they were pigs and not deer, and they had their backs to us!

The hogs bolted as we exited my truck, running to Ken’s side.  He managed to jack in a shell and get off a shot.  Then two other hogs we hadn’t seen bolted, and Ken got a shot off at them too.  We didn’t hear any pig squeals, and after looking for a few minutes, we didn’t find any blood, so we concluded he’d missed.  We then headed to the first feeder in the pasture.

All the hog bait and corn was still there, but we decided to hunt it because Hunter, a youth guest of Jeff Reece, had shot at a hog there that morning.

I attached a solar light to the bottom of the feeder barrel.  The tripod stand had a single seat, so we parked my truck 50 yards away and used it as our blind.  Ken sat beside my truck’s bed and supported his rifle with my shooting sticks.  I sat in my truck’s driver’s seat, rolled down my window, and supported my rifle with a plastic storage box.

We didn’t have to wait long.  Thirty minutes later, three hogs came to the feeder.  We didn’t want to use my spotlight, even though it had a red lens on it, as Tim Price and Paul Irwin used a spotlight twice the night before on two different herds of hogs, resulting in the hogs running both times.

The illumination from the light was enough to find the hogs in our scopes.  I picked out the one in the middle, and Ken picked out the one to the left.  We decided to fire on the count of three.  After ensuring Ken was ready, I quietly whispered, “One…Two…Three.”  Kaaaaabooooooom!  Our rifles fired in unison.  At least one hog ran to the left, and at least one ran to the right, and one of them was squealing as it ran.  To our surprise, there was no blood or hogs under the feeder.

We hunted the following morning without success.  We then looked for blood and dead hogs near the feeder where we shot at the three hogs the night before, finding neither.  We then went to a dry stock tank (pond) and put a paper target on the dam.  It was 56 yards away, according to my range finder.  My son’s Browning A-bolt I borrowed and Ken’s Browning BAR were on target.

Despite our preparations – making the hog bait ten months before, attaching a light to the bottom of the feeder, and using shooting rests, we failed to bring home the bacon.  We faced a moment of truth and were unable to deliver.

The Bible is full of recounts of people who faced moments of truth.  Some passed their moments of truth, and others failed theirs.  Some, such as Abraham, did both.  Abraham’s moments of truth include:

  • God commanded Abram (as he was named then), who was 75 years old, to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and go to the land God will show him.  Abram exercised great faith and obedience and passed that moment of truth.  (See Genesis 12:1-8.)
  • Then, a severe famine struck Canaan.  So Abram took his family to Egypt to escape it.  Before they entered Egypt, he asked his wife Sarai (as she was named then) to lie to the Egyptians and tell them she was his sister.  He feared they would kill him because of her beauty.  Pharaoh took her into his palace, but God caused Pharaoh and his household to become very sick.  Pharaoh realized Sarai was Abram’s wife and expelled them from Egypt.  Abram failed that moment of truth.  (See Genesis 12:10-20.)
  • Abraham and Sarah (God had renamed them) then moved to Gerar, and Abraham again lied about who Sarah was – again saying she was his sister.  King Abimelech took her into his harem.  Then God closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household.  God then came to Abimelech in a dream and told him the truth.  Abimelech confronted Abraham, who then prayed, and God enabled Abimelech, his wife, and his concubines to have children again.  Abraham failed that moment of truth.  (See Genesis 20:1-18.)
  • God then tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac (his only child).  Abraham took Isaac to a mountain and prepared an altar.  He then placed Isaac on the altar and grasped the knife he planned to kill Isaac with, but God commanded him to stop at the last moment.  God then blessed him, and all the nations of the earth, because of him.  Again Abraham exercised great faith and obedience and passed that moment of truth.  (See Genesis 22:1-18.)

Like Abraham, we sportsmen are presented with moments of truth.  Some of our moments of truth could include:

  • I just bagged my limit of dove, but they’re still flying, and I only bagged half a limit yesterday – it’d be easy to complete yesterday’s limit and put the over-the-limit dove in yesterday’s Zip-Loc.
  • I shot a deer, but it jumped the fence and disappeared into the neighbor’s property, where I don’t have permission to go.  But there are no cars in front of their house – they’d never know I was there.
  • A school of bass are feeding on the surface, but they’re in a no boats allowed zone by the spillway – no one will be able to tell from a distance if I’ve gone into the restricted area or am fishing beside it.

Many of us are unsure about or don’t know what we’ll do in such moments of truth and others.  There are too many possibilities to prepare for, and they often happen when we’re least expecting them.  Therefore, the way to ensure a correct response to a moment of truth is to make certain our characters are up to the task.  To do so, we must:

  • Develop new characters.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  We must confess our sins, repent, and ask him to be our Savior and Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  The act of becoming a Christian does not result in a good character.  After we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, part of becoming a new creation is developing a new character.
  • Learn what God considers a good character to be.  We do so by reading, memorizing, and applying his word.  The Bible is full of character traits we should mirror.  For example, Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  Philippians 4:8 say, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”  Proverbs 10:9a says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely.”
  • Surround ourselves with people of Godly character.  2 Corinthians 6:14-16a (NLT) says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers.  How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness?  How can light live with darkness?  What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil?  How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?  And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?”  Likewise, we shouldn’t surround ourselves only with baby, not growing, or backslidden Christians as they either have not yet learned how to develop a Godly character or they have chosen to put their Godly character aside.  Certainly, we should teach such believers to obey everything Jesus commanded us to do (see Matthew 28:18-20); however, such Christians shouldn’t be our only friends.

We all will be presented with moments of truth.  Our response will be a witness to the lost and fellow believers of our characters and relationship with God.  We always need to ask ourselves, “Will people be drawn to Jesus or pushed away from him by my responses to my moments of truth?”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3-27-11_paul_and_sow-261x300.jpg

Paul with the sow he killed on the second morning

Categories : Devotionals

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