The natural world provides an irresistible avenue to God. The flora and fauna that riddle the planet remind us that our Creator is far greater than ourselves and our problems–if we only have the eyes to see it.
As a hunter, the woods is akin to therapy as I slide into its twigs and sink my feet into its pungent soil. The more time I spend strolling through the trees, the more my soul cracks open, surrendered to its counsel.
Yet like therapy, hunting is not easy. The woods is not a supermarket. There are no butchers, cashiers, or shopping bags in the sport of hunting. It requires a grit that’s determined to do what it takes at the cost of personal comfort. The hordes of hostile elements batter against a hunter’s resolve, ensuring us that the successful harvest of our game is a rewarding pursuit. Bad hunting equals starving bellies. We are responsible for harvesting meat, and this responsibility is an ideal crucible for character development.
But then…there comes a time to fail, and we forget that failures are a part of our development.
For some unreasonable reason, we consider ourselves entitled for success, but when success doesn’t come, we wallow in the failures as if we’ve been cheated. We then relish in self-loathing, calling ourselves “incompetent” or “weak,” as if everyone on Earth must heed our plight.
In doing so, we do Grace a disservice. We forget that the greatest strengths can only come through weakness.
Failure is not the end that God intends for his failing Creation.
It all hinges on what we think of grace. Unless we see its potential, we will never fully enjoy the hunt. Grace is designed to strengthen us through our failures if we can only give up clutching them.
As we sit in the tree stand or stroll along a trail, we can either thank God that we’re so small in such a large world, and that our identity doesn’t hinge on our successes, or we can continue clutching our entitlement for glory. We can expect ourselves to succeed, or let God to show his goodness whether we succeed or not.
Grace makes all the difference. Next time we’re in the woods, in pursuit of our game, will we see it at work?