The government gives us statistics on the participation of hunting and fishing. The numbers that come from the federal government only include those 16 and older, while each state will refine the number down to every license sold.
A few years ago, those over 16 years of age who fished or hunted (or both), totaled over 42 million. There is no doubt this group of men and women are important to our country and our economy. Those same statistics that year told us this faction spent over 76 million dollars toward their outdoor activity. A recent conversation I had with the manager of a large hunting and fishing business told me, even in the years of bad economy, their business thrives.
Hunting and fishing are also valuable in other areas of our life. They are still one of the very few activities that bridge the generation gap. Are you feeling some disconnect from your son or daughter? Try a hunting or fishing trip. Without ever saying a word, more healing can take place in that time, than might have been accomplished in months.
If you do this, remember to go with no agenda other than to be with your child. Don’t bring up the problems that may exist between you. Don’t look for times to “make your point.” And don’t force your hunting or fishing expertise on them. Just go and let God begin to do the work you have been unable to do. I promise you – He will.
All in all, the outdoors is a special place. It was created by God with purpose. It is not by chance the outdoors holds so many great possibilities. Again, God planned it that way. Hunters and fishermen simply enjoy it more than most. The tragedy, however, would be if we never recognized the divine purpose of creation; if we kept using it without letting it speak to us about God: His nature, His power, His qualities. What a waste our outdoor experiences would be if we never looked up at Him and asked, “God, what do You want me to know? What do You want me to do?”
If you’ve never done that, I invite you to. Be assured that He will speak. He has many different ways of doing that, but each will be specific to your desires and needs. He will not only work out the relationships in your life that need repairing, but He will restore your greatest one – the one you have with Him.
By Gary Miller. Miller is a syndicated sports columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com