Today marks the end of another spring turkey season and the start of my long wait until the archery dates arrive in October. In the meantime, I can savor the turkey meat and regale you with my tales of this season.
What is that? I never told you? Please allow me to! For the first time in my life, I tagged turkeys. With a legal limit of three, I actually got three, which was a complete reversal from last year when I scored zero.
The highlight of this season, aside from the times I got to take my grandson, was catching what is probably the biggest bird I will ever have. He weighed 25 pounds, 10 ounces and sported not one beard, but six! His spurs were also trophy length and now I have to find a place for another mounted gobbler.
Since there’s no way to know the weight or condition of a bird’s beard while it’s alive, it just proves that God is always gracious and blind pigs sometimes still find acorns. Thank God for this gobbler and the other two he brought me too.
What happened about half an hour before my monster bird appeared was another highlight of this year’s Spring Forest. While waiting for the turkeys to show up, two gray squirrels entertained me by chasing each other around a young white oak tree. Up and down, side to side, back and forth, they went. They were having a good old time.
As I watched these woodland acrobats, somewhere to my left dove a red-tailed hawk. Like a rifle bullet, it flew towards one of my squirrels and nailed it. Although I have seen predators miss their prey on several occasions, I have rarely seen them mark right in front of me.
Tragically, the unfortunate Bushy Tail never saw it coming. Whether fighting with an enemy or playing with a friend, his young life was cut short only to nurture another and likely nurture young hatchlings, also known as eyas, in a nearby nest.
This experience certainly provides an object lesson for all of us. The Word of God counsels us in 1 Peter 5:8 to: “Be self-controlled and watchful. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Many people go about their daily lives oblivious to the fact that they even have an enemy, let alone watch over them. Jesus told us that the devil’s agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy, and most of us know from personal experience that our adversary is not playing games.
For this reason, we must follow Peter’s advice and be self-controlled and alert. Although we don’t have lions here, we have hawks, owls and coyotes. Their activity in the natural realm reminds us to be ever vigilant in the spiritual realm.
Like the squirrel, we tend to get caught up in small fights with each other, distracting us from our real enemy and becoming vulnerable to his cunning attacks. In the other direction, we can be involved in so many hobbies, hobbies and games that we become susceptible because we have failed to prepare ourselves spiritually.
Knowing that we have an adversary is the first step, but then we must always remain vigilant and always in control in order to avoid being destroyed by him. Also, we can help each other by covering each other with prayer and wise counsel. Partnering with each other instead of bickering results in much more effective protection for both parties.
Once again, God’s incredible physical creation teaches us an important spiritual lesson. Let us be wise enough to learn from it and to be always vigilant and in control of ourselves in order to avoid being eliminated by our fierce enemy.
George Bowers is the senior pastor of the church in Antioch and is the author of 16 books, including Blessings Volume 3, which is a collection of these articles. It is available from Four Star Printing, Shenandoah Stuff and Fort Valley Nursery. He can be reached by www.georgebowersministries.com or at [email protected]