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Outdoor Truths by Gary Miller; Dumb...; gary@outdoortruths.org

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I noticed that I was shivering. I had seen deer off and on all morning and I was afraid that any move I made would be detected by a nearby deer. So I sat still and shivered. That particular morning was not unlike most of the cold mornings when I hunt. I travel light and pack heavy. I try to eliminate any sweating while walking to my tree stand. When I get to the stand I either put my clothes on at the base of the tree or when I get to the top. When it’s real cold I even change socks after I arrive. This was one of those very cold days. My plans were to walk in with as few clothes on as possible, and then, when I got to the tree, change socks, undershirt, and add my other clothes along with my insulated overalls and jacket……… Sounds like a plan!  

I was running a little late this particular morning. By the time I stuffed and strapped everything on my backpack, darkness was giving in to day. I didn’t have a long walk, so I felt everything would be okay. As a came down the trail I was welcomed by two deer. I could barely see but I could tell it was a buck and a doe. They took off without blowing. When I got to my tree I noticed another deer silhouetted on the hill above me. My plans just changed. Instead of putting my clothes on, on the ground, I would wait until I was in the tree. I quietly made my way up the ladder, hung my backpack on its hook, strapped myself in, grabbed my binoculars, and began gazing at the deer on the hill. For the next few hours other deer came and went making me afraid to move long enough to put my overalls and jacket on. So I sat……. and shivered. I watched……. and shivered. I shivered……..and shivered. And then I thought, “I’m an arm’s reach from warm relief and won’t take it. How dumb can a guy be?”  It was so close but I chose to remain in miserable shape.

            I know a lot of people that are that way when it comes to their spiritual lives. They are miserable, lonely, and cold. They know what they need to do. They know how close the answer is but they refuse to take it because of some kind of fear. Take it from somebody who’s been there. To not accept something that is so easy and close, is not just a bad idea, it’s just plain dumb.

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