Recently, someone very dear to me asked, "Are you ever satisfied?" I knew instantly what she was asking and why. My first reaction was to come back with some witty quip that would get me off the hook, but 60 years and the wisdom of others has taught me that I don't have to say everything I feel, every time I feel it. It did however get me thinking.
If I was ever satisfied, I might not have left the security of home at 18 and ventured out into the world.
If I was ever satisfied, I might never have joined the Air Force which eventually led to my career flying a jet fighter all over the world.
If I was ever satisfied, I might not have pressed so hard at life and discovered my need for something bigger than myself...God's love.
If I was ever satisfied, I might never have had the courage to write my first book. That was 5 books ago.
If I was ever satisfied, I might not have acquired the courage to stand before hundreds, sometimes thousands, to share my story and God's story.
If I was ever satisfied, I might have missed God's calling my name.
If I was ever satisfied, I would never have discovered what lay over the next ridge when hiking in the Rocky Mountain high country.
If I was ever satisfied, I would never have met the love of my life...Rae Ann.
Am I ever satisfied....no. There will always be something else that I can do for the God who saved my life.
If the term, exceeded or exceeds expectations rings a bell to you chances are that you read it on an HR performance review. If it was your own, congratulations!
Earlier today, I met with a number of men at my church at 6:00 AM for the first of what is supposed to be a six week study...33 The Series. So you say...SIX O'DARK O'CLOCK....in the morning? You gotta be kinddin' me! My expectation was that if I was lucky, I might be able to attract one or two early risers. Imagine my elation when five guys showed up. Now you may say...five doesn't sound like too much of a turnout. I guess it just gets down to where we set the bar...what are our expectations? Today, given that I was asking men to get up with the chickens, I set the bar rather low. But my real goal was not in the actual numbers attending but more so in the participation...and my guys just blew me out of the water. Granted we all had some issue watching a 25 minute video that was designed to stimulate the following discussion, but once the discussion began. WOW! These men engaged!! When I came in that morning I thought I would have to set the place on fire to get them motivated, I WAS WRONG! These men wanted to talk. These men had real life issues that they wanted to discuss. I was impressed. My expectations were exceeded. I'm looking forward to next week and hanging out with my new buds.
"Civilization is merely a veneer, a thin skinned polish over the savage and crude nature. Fear, anger, lust, the three great primal instincts are restrained, but they live powerfully in the breast of man."
"Stealing through the forest or along the mountain slope, eyes roving, ears sensitive to all vibrations of the air, nose as keen as that of a hound, hands tight on a deadly rifle, we unconsciously go back. We go back to the primitive, to the savage state of man. Therein lies the joy. How sweet, vague, unreal those sensations of strange familiarity with wild places we know we never saw before! But a million years before that hour a hairy ancestor of ours felt the same way in the same kind of a place, and in us that instinct survives. That is the secret of the wonderful strange charm of wild places, of the barren rocks of the desert wilderness, of the great-walled lonely canyons. Something now in our blood, in our bones once dances in men who lived then in similar place. And lived by hunting!"
"When the man goes into the wilderness to change into a hunter that surviving kinship with the savage revives in his being, and all unconsciously dominates him with driving passion. Passion it is because for long he has been restrained in the public haunts of men. His real nature has been hidden. The hunting of game inhibits his thoughts, He feels only. He forgets himself. He sees the track, he hears the stealthy step, he smells the wild scent; and his blood dances with the dance of the ages. Then he is a killer, The ages roll back. Then he is a brother to the savage. Then all unconsciously he lives the chase, the fight, the death-dealing moment as they were lived by all his ancestors down through the misty past."
Some work cannot be improved upon, nor should it be. If anything is true about 21st century man it is that he seems driven to continually strive to improve upon someone else's work, idea, or invention. I know this because I have done this more times than I can count. However as I sit here contemplating the peace that comes from the silence brought on by six inches of fresh snow outside of my window, I find myself in one of those contemplative reflective moods. Thinking back over the past 40 years of my life, much of which has been spent in one wilderness or another in pursuit of game, I have to ask, where did this desire to hunt come from. From my father and his father before him? Or does this passion within me to chase wild game across wild places come from a far more distant source. The three quotes (above) are notes the author Zane Grey penned around 1919 either during or following an extended hunt for bear in Arizona. I just cannot improve one word....if these strike a chord in your heart too...welcome to the brotherhood of the hunter.
I write stuff. I talk about the stuff I write. God has blessed my life in more ways that I can list. I am not nearly as smart as I think I am. God is very patient with me. God has demonstrated how much He loves me. He gave me His only son Jesus. He gave me my wife. He gave me 5 wonderful children and so far 8 beautiful grandchildren. I am blessed above all men.