Beyond question, my favorite time of the year exists in the spring. From mid-March to mid-May, when strutters are on the troll, I find myself obsessed with the chase. Were I forced to choose between elk, whitetails, or even fly fishing, I'd no doubt choose the six to eight weeks of spring to satisfy my outdoor obsession.
Just this past week I introduced one of my soul brothers to the addiction that runs through my veins. He asked for it. He wanted to see what the Siren call was all about, and though fully warned about the potential life changes that could ensue, even still he chose to enter the woods. Two hours later Russ Rankin was staring down the barrel of a Thompson Center 12 gauge, violently introducing his first tom to Winchester Xtended Range. Walking out bird in tote he looked over at me and said, "You know, I've always understood why guys would love to hunt trophy bucks because of the big antlers, but I can see how this would totally capture a man. It's because of 'the game' you play, isn't it?"
In that moment, I knew Russ needed no further mentoring in the world of feathered fever. In the short span of the 120 minutes it took to throw this bird over his shoulder, the seductive sounds of the gobble and yelp had saturated his marrow. He now understood why these spring chess matches are incredibly intoxicating.
When I enter the woods to chase a tom, I never, ever know the outcome, and I'm convinced therein lies the secret with why countless numbers of men are incredibly uninterested in the idea of "church." Tozer once said that we've reduced God to someone who will "never surprise us, never astonish us, never overwhelm us, nor ever transcend us."
I will get up at 3:30 am, battle intense humidity, ticks, the possibility of stepping on a copperhead, and the likelihood of coming home empty handed, just to experience the drama of a journey with which I know not the outcome. Your personal faith journey can look just like the hunt of a lifetime, and that constant sense of adventure alive in your own life can have fast, transforming effects on the people you go to church with as well. Jesus never once called a person to a destination or life under a steeple. He only calls people to a relationship, and every relationship I've ever experienced had ever-changing dynamics. Oh that we could all, brothers, lead our churches, and the people in them, to settle for nothing less than faith journeys which scoff at the idea of rote approaches to this eternal God who has made Himself accessible through Jesus The Christ. May we forever be on a quest to experience the astonishment of His great surprises.
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