Hunting is demanding. Time that could be spent with family, or spent on the “honey-do” list are admittedly replaced with partial or entire days in the field. Even more than this, the marathon of the fall and winter hunting seasons can cause us to slip into a fruitless spiritual pattern. Hunters are often on the road, and have adjusted schedules that can cut away time that would normally be spent growing in grace.
The great thing about hunting is that it doesn’t have to dominate our schedule, or catch us on our heels if we plan accordingly. With a bit of intentional planning, we can still get plenty of time hunting. We can even hunt in a way that doesn’t cause us to end our season feeling drained of energy and guilty with a pile of work to catch up on.
Plan Your Season Well
Proverbs 6:6-7 says, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Without any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest.”
We all want a prosperous season without the tension of guilt that comes with poor planning. In order to overcome it, we have to take responsibility for it. We have an entire year to prepare our calendar for the upcoming season. That’s plenty of time to speak with your family, your boss, and those overseeing your responsibilities at your church to make sure that your absence will not be overburdensome. Here are some practical steps to cover the bases:
- Establish when you absolutely CANNOT hunt.
- Establish the “maybe” days, and be prepared to be flexible.
- Then locate the “YES” days.
“Cannot Hunt” days are the Family, Job, Church days that are, in truth, more valuable that spending time in the field.
“Maybe Days” are those days that you will have to make a judgement call based on weather or other conditions.
“Yes” Days are the days your calendar can be blacked out to go all in!
Make the Most of Your Trip
Once you have established your hunting calendar, make the first thing you plan how you will grow in the Lord on every trip. It’s amazingly difficult for me to divide my attention when I’m hunting. Yes, that means to focus on spiritual things rather than what’s going on around me in the tree stand. I have found over the years that if I go out with a defined goal of seeking the Lord while I’m out, even without a harvest, I’m much more satisfied. I try to go after three things while I’m in the field:
- Set a scripture reading goal for each time out.
- Journal 3-5 applications from my reading.
- Commit to when and how I will apply those things.
- Create a prayer list to follow up on when I return.
Don’t Forget to Share.
You can be a true blessing to those around you when you return from hunting if you will share what God has taught you through your time in his word and in prayer.
The key to maintaining spiritual health during hunting season, or even growing unlike ever before, is great planning. How will you grow this season? Share how you pursue spiritual growth in the field by commenting below! I’d love to hear from you!
Want to get the free PDF download of how to stay spiritually healthy during hunting season? Click the link! SpiritualHealthJCS