Whether you are on the water or in the woods, if fish or game is involved, so is scouting. Just because your boat is in the water, doesn’t mean all you have to do is drop a line in order to catch fish. The same goes for the woods. It doesn’t matter what game you are after, just surrounding yourself with trees will not guarantee any success. And then there are the signs that give proof that fish or game have been there before. This is especially evident in hunting. Game trails run throughout the woods.
These paths are proof positive that some or perhaps many types of critters are moving throughout the area you are in. But again, these signs do not guarantee a successful place to hunt. I can remember the early years of deer hunting being so excited about these trails only to realize that I knew nothing about what was using them or when they might be using them. This was of course before trail cameras. I can also remember the days when I would unload a boat and immediately begin to fish the first place that looked “fishy.” It didn’t take me long to realize fish live in the entire lake, so it all looks fishy. Again, the signs were no assurance I would have an encounter with the bass I came after.
Now it is true the more signs one has, the greater the opportunity. This goes for fishing or hunting, and yet we have all been in the perfect place only to leave empty handed. Sometimes the barometric pressure is not right. Sometimes the wind is not right. And sometimes the water is too high or too muddy. Signs are a great thing to use but signs are not what we are hunting or fishing for. They simply point to the real thing.
This fact is especially true when it comes to creation. If you have read one of my columns for any period of time, you know I am continually showing you how creation points to a Creator and how creation gives us a great opportunity to worship this Creator. But please don’t miss the point. Creation is only a sign of the true God, not a god itself. For if creation keeps you away from being the follower of Christ that you are meant to be, then it has become an idol you have used to replace the one and only God.
So, ask yourself this question as you continue to pursue your passion in the outdoors: Are the signs I see from nature making me want to become a better follower of Christ? Or are they replacing that desire? Only you know the real answer and only you can change it.
By Gary Miller. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org