Where Are All the Deer?
Fall is upon us. The leaves have changed color into beautiful shades of red and yellow. The combines are back in the sheds. The heat and the humidity are long gone. Fall is upon us. It is a time for reflection.
In my family, the month of November also meant it was deer hunting season. I distinctly remember those cold early mornings up in the north woods. We would wake up at 4:00 am, put on our orange camouflage, and trudge out into the woods. Sure, it was 5:00 am...the temperature hovered around 0 F…and I was walking through a foot of snow. But I didn’t care. There was hope. I dreamed about a big 12-point buck coming by my stand. Ask any hunter, and I’m sure they have similar thoughts walking into the woods.
After sitting for a half hour, I expected the deer to come by. I heard a shot off in the distance. Then another. Surely this would get the deer to move about. Nope. Nothing. It was now late morning. Still no deer sighting. I was getting cold and frustrated. The hours dragged on and on. There was some rustling off in the distance. I readied my gun. A deer? No just a couple squirrels running around. Where were all the deer?! Had I wasted my whole Saturday? It seemed like everyone around me was shooting and bagging their deer. But I didn’t see one! I was frustrated. Where were all the deer?
I looked around again. But this time I did not see a lack of deer; instead I saw an abundance of trees. I heard the sound of the wind. And I saw squirrels, and rocks, and the sun shining down on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I realized that even without the deer, it was still a beautiful day, which God had made.
Does this ever happen to you? Do you get consumed by something, only to miss the big picture? There will always be proverbial ‘deer’ to chase in life; that pay raise at work, that new car, that dream vacation, etc. Some of these you will receive, some you won’t.
But as for you, give thanks in all circumstances. Look around you. All of these things God has given. Your home, family and friends, your very life. Things we take for granted. Yet even for these daily gifts, we return thanks to God for his gracious protection and mercy in all things. We thank God also for giving us his son Jesus Christ, God the son, who gave his life to redeem us. We are truly blessed, for God has given us everything we need both on this earth and in eternity. In the words of our liturgy, “Thank the Lord and sing his praise. Tell everyone what he has done!”
Vicar Scott Busacker