Not every boy wants to go hunting or fishing, I met one once, for real. But my experience is that almost anytime I have asked a group of boys if any of them wanted to go fishing or hunting with me, they go crazy and all want in on the adventure.
When we got back from out of town not long ago we heard about a boy at our church who had lost his father. My wife and I went over to visit and take them dinner. During the visit I mentioned that we had an all boys hunting trip coming up and I would love for him to go with us. He was beside himself. His mom later told me it was the distraction he needed at that time.
The scheduled weekend came and we made our way to the ranch with six other boys in tow. The sun was setting as we began to unload and I prepared something for us all to eat. The hunt camp was basically dirt and a small shack the size of my daughter’s room. The floor was lined with the boys’ gear and sleeping bags.
While all the other boys were out collecting rocks and firewood the one who had lost his dad stayed behind. He laid back against the wooden wall and began to tell me about his dreams since his father died and how he was feeling. I never asked him; it seemed to just pour out. It was heart wrenching.
The last morning we hunted hard and never had the shot we were comfortable with. The sun was over us and we knew the other boys were packing and cleaning up. We slowly made our way back to camp and I took blame for the less than successful weekend hunt he had. Then it happened, a deer stepped out, a perfect shot, and it was done. It was his first deer and just before we got back to camp to leave.
That morning after we got back to camp he accepted Christ into his life and we baptized him in an old concrete horse trough. It is hard to deny God when He is standing next to you.
It was years ago now but there is another boy who lost his father to a tragic car accident. His mother and sister moved in next door with the grandparents and that is when we met. For years, he has tagged along with us on hunting and fishing trips. He is learning about life as a boy, responsibility, right, wrong and how a young man should behave.
One evening on a fishing trip we baptized him in the lake as the sun set behind us. It was powerful and all the men there wept in joy of how God works.
My beautiful teenage daughter has friends who are now interested in the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Some have dads, some don’t. The key attraction is the real life event of hunting or fishing. It is the adventure, the dirt and the challenges the quest provide. Yes, girls who love dirt one day and getting their nails done the next. How can that be?
The girls hunts we have done have been so powerful and exciting. I hate to tell the boys this, but the girls are better shots and can skin a hog or a deer with the best of you. Ouch.
Hunting and fishing may not be your thing. Not a problem. It’s about being thankful for the blessing we have no matter how much or how little. It can be as easy as taking the kid next door or one of your kids’ friends as part your next family outing. Include one more seat at the movies, at the restaurant, on the golf course or next to you in church.
Time spent with others is the key. A mentor can change a life, boy, girl, man or woman. Live yours a life of influence and purpose. Create a legacy, a tradition or a memory. Be intentional in the lives of those you come in contact with. Contribute to organizations doing good works. Be thankful and show thanks.
My good friend Jimmy always says, “you can’t out give God.” He is right and if you don’t believe it, try it.
For information on our ministry go to www.kidsoutdoorzone.com
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Kids Outdoor Zone