It was good to see some pictures from the youth turkey hunts in our area. This is really a good way to introduce the next generation to one of my favorite things to hunt. And I can’t wait to get in the woods next weekend as well. This means for the next 6 weeks or so, bagging another gobbler will not be far from my thoughts. I love standing on the top of a hill just before dawn and using my owl call to locate those toms. There’s nothing like that sound as it echoes through the fog.
The key to hunting gobblers is learning about them before opening day. It’s more important than owning all the best calls and even knowing how to use each one. I don’t know how many times I have killed a turkey without making the first sound. I simply knew where they were, what they were doing, and where they were going. This information comes over time from doing more watching and listening, and less moving and calling. And it also comes from year after year of hunting the same area. But even this has everything to do with knowing.
To say “I know” is different from saying “I believe.” To believe takes very little effort. To believe is mostly cognitive while knowing is experiential. Believing hovers from the neck up while knowing involves the whole person. One can believe without knowing but he cannot know without believing. John Ortberg wrote concerning faith; “Faith is coming to believe with your whole body what you say you believe with your mind.” Let me give you an example. I have heard many people triumphantly proclaim how it is impossible to out-give God. But most of those same individuals have never seriously tried. We could say they believe it cognitively but they do not believe it experientially. Or we could say they believe it but they do not know it. This difference is paramount because only an experiential knowledge gives us the calm assurance we need to handle the stresses of life. It keeps us from fretting because we know that what we believe is true because it has been lived out. God wants us to know Him not just believe in Him. And the only way we can do that is if we allow Him to take what we say we believe in our mind and test it against our difficult circumstances. It is only then that we really can learn to have peace right in the middle of a storm.
I am confident I will have the opportunity to pull the trigger on a big tom this year, not because of a strong belief that comes from my mind but because of a knowledge that has come from years of experience from my whole body.