The following series of devotionals are taken from Dr. Tim Miller’s book, Seasons of Reflection. You can find out more about Tim’s ministry and order the book by visiting www.disciplethenations.com.
Late one evening, I managed to roost a small flock of turkeys near the top of a ridge. I literally saw them fly up. The next morning, I made my way to the area where the birds were located. They were nowhere to be found. I was positively in the correct place. It was pitch black when I left the roost and pitch black when I arrived the next morning. The previous night was met with violent thunderstorms, wind, and rain and the only thing I could figure was they changed trees during the night. At any rate, the turkeys were nowhere to be found and did not gobble to reveal their new location.
I continued searching that morning by setting up at various locations and “blind calling.” I simply hoped to run across an ole gobbler by sitting down at “the right place at the right time.” During my third setup, I was sitting with my back next to a tree. Out in front of me, I noticed some mushrooms shaped in a peculiar fashion. After sitting approximately twenty minutes, I got up for a closer look at the mushrooms. They were not mushrooms at all, but two finely polished antlers from a young eight-point buck. A beautiful set indeed – four symmetrical points on each side. I started thinking how unusual it was to find both sides together. I love to discover antler sheds, although I am not the luckiest person when it comes to actually finding them. I couldn’t help but wonder what the buck was doing at that moment or where he might be. What would he look like next year? Would he still be around this area during next hunting season? Funny how things left behind can foster so many questions.
I have several “keepsakes” left behind by friends who are no longer with us. They remind me of the people who gave them. One such keepsake is a slate call given to my son by the late Jerry Turner. Jerry was a co-worker with Harold Knight and David Hale of Knight and Hale Game Calls, Inc. Jerry courageously fought cancer for many months, but eventually died a few years ago. He was a champion in life and the best turkey hunter a man could ever wish to meet. He taught me a lot and I think of him each spring. After Jerry’s funeral, Harold Knight came up to me and made this statement, “Jerry not only showed us how to live, but he showed us how a man is supposed to die.” I will never forget those words. Jerry Turner left behind an eternal legacy.
Challenge: Are you building a lasting legacy of honesty, integrity, truth, unselfishness, and eternal focus? Are you so consumed with the pressures of the next business deal or overly booked schedule that you are forgetting the real reason we live? How long has it been since you really focused on the needs of your children or wife –without being distracted? What will their thoughts be of you when they discover the things you have left behind? What kinds of questions will they ask?
Thoughts: The value of a man’s life is not determined by the things he accumulates, but by the real treasure he leaves behind – his investment in people. I once knew a man who left behind a string of antlers but a very unsettled family. Watching them cope with their loss was sad indeed. Through the years, that man has served as a prime example to me of a fine hunter who left behind the wrong treasures.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Posted by Tim E. Miller