There’s just something about being in the woods!
Anyone who’s spent any time around me knows that I love to be outdoors. Especially when being outdoors has something to do with hunting or fishing. For my fellow hunters out there you probably know that this last week bow season for deer opened, and I had the incredible privilege of hanging out with two great guys (Ray & Rex that’s you) in the woods for a couple of days.
For you non-hunters out there who don’t fully understand the draw allow me to attempt, with mediocre words, why we/I love it so much. You usually wake up around 4am after a night of very little sleep anticipating what will happen the next day. Your alarm goes off and you rise to shower and prepare your freshly, scentless clothing. If your hunting with a couple of buddies, which I highly recommend, then you join up and drive to your location. The conversation and camaraderie is really second to none, ribbing, joking, and most of all boasting about who will get either the most or the biggest deer this year. But, this is all pre-game, the event is yet to come.
Once we arrive on location, everything goes quiet, it’s not that you can’t talk, but it just doesn’t feel right. The world around you is still in silent slumber, often even the bugs aren’t making a sound. It is an eery, yet calming feeling that washes over you as you step into nature. In absolute silence you walk to your tree stand, and with as much stealth as possible climb the 12-20′ up to your 2′ x 2′ front row seat to the awakening of the world. If you time it right, you sit in darkness for at least an hour before you feel the cold rush that proceeds first light, as it washes over you enveloping you in the wondrous show that God has prepared just for you in this moment. You take one last look around you knowing that in less than an hour everything you think you see will be gone, and what is real will be unveiled.
As the pre-dawn ignites it is almost imperceptible, the hues of black turn to grey, then blue, orange, and yellow. In this 1,800 seconds the alarm clock of nature erupts around you, as every creature in God’s marvelous creation begins to awaken. In those seconds of pre-dawn glory I have seen more amazing sights than I could probably write about in a life time. I’ve been stared at by curious squirrels, scolded by blue jays, crawled on by annoyed chipmunks, almost knocked out of a tree by a woodpecker the size of a small dog, and once had an owl fly within inches of my nose…and it was glorious!
When the sun finally breaks the horizon the morning is in full throated chorus, with every creature adding to the harmony, reminding you just how small you are, but how special you are. For all of this, this orchestra of nature was created just for us. God built this amazing world just for me. In these moments, during these mornings, I am reveling in God’s love song to me, reminding me of his incomparable power to watch over me, guide me, protect me.
If you need a fresh encounter, a revelation, a time of reflection, can I challenge you? Wake up early, and I mean early. Make some coffee grab a warm blanket, snag a front row seat, and allow your God to unfold before you the majesty of creation…and then remember, you are his crown jewel!