My outdoor activities have been limited as of late. The busyness of life and things that are more important have been moved to the top of my priority list. I know many people think that I must hunt and fish all the time, but that is far from the truth. I actually seem to do it less now than when I was younger. I can remember the days when I almost felt an addiction to hunting; and before that, fishing. The circumstances of nature governed my activities. I always thought that the day I didn’t go would be the day the fish would be biting or the deer would be moving. I’m glad I’m not that obsessed anymore. And I’m glad that I am not as easily influenced by temptations of this kind. I tend to plan my hunts now. For instance, I am still looking forward to a few days of deer hunting down south and also a hog hunt a couple of months from now. These have been planned for some time, but in order to be able to go, I have to get things done here; now. It also means that I can’t let myself be led astray by other things that will hinder my work or my ability to take those days off. What I am saying is this; by planning, I am no longer controlled by a sudden urge or whim. I know they will come, but I’ll be ready for them. And while these truths will allow me to hunt, they are much more important in other areas – areas that affect my life and those around me.
What is your addiction or obsession? What is controlling you right now that you have been unable to break free from? Or perhaps you have broken free from something but are afraid of those moments that are surely to come when that sudden impulse is going to hit you unexpected. What can you do? The answer is to plan. Plan the urges and then plan your escape. This can especially be seen in working with those who have been incarcerated. Many of them become clean from drugs and/or alcohol addiction. The safe confines of prison give them the accountability they need. And being “inside” and with others make the temptation easier to bear. But how will they handle the first time alone or that first weekend when the old friends are back and the temptation will be at its highest? Again, the answer for all of us is to plan; plan for each scenario and then plan your escape. Begin by marking your calendar (whether literal or imaginary) with the days when you will be in the situation that you most fear. Picture the temptation so when it comes you will recognize it and not be surprised. Now, write down how you plan to get out of there alive and unscathed. In doing this you will begin to feel the freedom of a life that is not controlled by those things that hinder you from being all that God wants you to be.