Gary Miller: Overcoming a racing heart

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I’m a little over a week out from turkey season. It really is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I know the toms will be gobbling by the time I’m allowed in the woods with my shotgun. I love hearing that sound any time, but during the hunting season it makes my heart race a little more. Like buck fever, there is something that messes with my mind and body when a gobbler begins to make his way to my setup. Some hunters become so nervous it’s almost impossible to talk without sounding like someone is shaking your whole body as words are coming out.

And what happens many times, is rational thought processes are overtaken by actions that are totally detrimental to having success. I mean, it doesn’t matter how many times you have practiced or how many lessons you have learned, a racing heart can erase all of that. That rapid heartbeat can also make you harvest an animal that normally you would let pass. The truth is, a racing heart must be managed because while it may stimulate our senses, it can make us do wrong things.

The more I think about this, the more I think about matters of more importance – much more importance. I think about the racing heart that comes from those things that look enticing and those things that may be what others have or enjoy, or long for.

At first glance one mistakes what he sees as a trophy. And the longer he looks, he tends to let himself become satisfied with what is in front of him or worse still, he begins to believe that whatever is in front of him, he is entitled to because he has worked hard or because of other good intentions.

For us men, these enticements come in the form of sex, power or money. And even though none of these are bad in themselves; they become destructive when they cause us to do something we know is wrong. The problem is, most of the time, we don’t realize our mistake until we can’t take it back.

So, what do we do? For a follower of Christ, we are to hide God’s Word in our hearts. This means we are to be diligent in putting so much Biblical truth in our lives that we….. well, so that we don’t do stupid things. The other thing we need is accountability. For a hunter, I have a law that says I always must check a harvested animal into the game commission. Someone is always keeping up with my harvest. And in the same way, accountability is our way of letting others know what we have harvested in our personal life.

With God’s Word and other men in our lives, we stand a much better chance of passing on the things we need to pass on and harvesting those things that are real trophies.

By Gary Miller. Miller is a syndicated sports columnist. 

He can be reached at gary@outdoortruths.org