Jun
11

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

By

In late March, eight friends and I made our way to the Walters Ranch near Jarrell for a weekend FCS 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 that we saw during our five hunts there were deer and a hen turkey.

On the second night, we hunted until around 10:45 PM.  As nothing was moving, we decided to check the feeders that the other hunters were not hunting over.  We put shells in our magazines, but none in the 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 that 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 that we hadn’t seen bolted, and Ken got a shot off at them too.  We didn’t hear any squeals, and after looking for a few minutes, we didn’t find any blood, so we concluded that he had missed.  We then headed to the first feeder in the pasture.

All of the hog bait and corn were 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 white 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 in a chair beside the 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 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 groups of hogs.  Its use resulted 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 that 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 hog or blood under the feeder.

We hunted the next morning without success.  We then looked for blood and dead hogs where we had shot the night before.  We found neither.  Next, we then went to a dry stock tank (pond) and put a target on the dam, 56 yards away, according to my range finder.  My son’s Browning A-bolt that I had borrowed and Ken’s rifle 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 had a moment of truth and failed to deliver.

The Bible is full of accounts 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 included:

  • The Lord commanded the 75-year-old Abram (as he was named then) during their first encounter to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and go to the land the Lord will show him. Abram exercised great faith and did as the Lord commanded.  He 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 that she was his sister.  He feared that they would kill him because of her beauty.  Pharaoh took her into his palace, but the Lord caused Pharaoh and his household to become very sick.  Pharaoh figured out that Sarai was Abram’s wife and expelled them from Egypt.  Abram failed that moment of truth.  (See Genesis 12:10-20.)
  • Abraham and Sarah (the Lord had renamed them) then moved to Gerar, and he again lied about who Sarah was, again saying that she was his sister. King Abimelech took her into his harem.  Then the Lord closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household.  The Lord then came to Abimelech in a dream and told him the truth.  Abimelech confronted Abraham, who then prayed, and the Lord enabled Abimelech, his wife, and his concubines to have children again.  Abraham failed that moment of truth.  (See Genesis 20:1-18.)
  • The Lord 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 that he planned to kill Isaac with, but the Lord commanded him to stop at the last moment.  The Lord 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 extra 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.
  • A school of bass is feeding on the surface, but they’re in a no boats allowed area by the spillway. No one will be able to tell from a distance if I’ve gone into the zone or am just fishing beside it.

Many of us are unsure about or don’t know what we will 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 ensure that our characters are up to the task.  To do that, we have to do the following:

  • 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!”  After we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, part of becoming a new creation is developing a new character.
  • Becoming a Christian does not guarantee that we’ll have good characters – we have to learn what God considers a good character to be. We do that by reading and memorizing his word.  The Bible is full of character traits that we should embrace.  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.”
  • We must 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 should not 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 minister to them.  Jesus instructed us to teach fellow believers to obey everything he commanded us to do (see Matthew 28:18-20).  However, such Christians should not 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 by my response, or will they be pushed away from him?”

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

Paul with his sow, killed on the second morning

Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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