October is here and that can only mean three things. It's time to start playing Christmas music, hunting season has arrived, and Valentine's Day stuff will soon be on the shelves. If you don't think hunting season has arrived, drive down any county road early in the morning and see if something with hair all over, cloven hooves, and big brown eyes doesn't jump out in front of your car. That could also be describing a jammer from a female roller derby team in the 1970's but I am actually referring to a deer.

Hunting is as old as the Bible. We know Adam and Eve went hunting because they wore fig leaves, the first recorded form of camouflage. My dictionary defines hunt as "to go out to kill or catch game for food or sport." Wives define hunt as "an opportunity for husbands to get away from work for a few days while we are stuck at home to work our jobs, cook the meals, take the kids to soccer practice at two different locations at the same time, entertain the in-laws who dropped in unexpectedly to offer their opinions about everything in life, and change a baby diaper that just went through the monsoon season." Upon his return, the first thing a husband does after being in the woods for five days is hug his wife. He smells like he crawled out of a moose that had recently eaten a skunk who had rotten eggs for breakfast.

Some animals are on the "endangered species" list and are illegal to hunt. They are extremely rare and mostly seen in zoos, on neckties, or at endangered species wild game dinners. One of these is the black bear. We are familliar with stories of bear sightings in East Tennessee. One of the most popular stories ran several years ago when a black bear made the unfortunate mistake of wandering into someone's yard and got attacked by a dachshund named Schwartz. 

Anyone who owns a dachshund understands that, pound for pound, it can hold its own with any animal when it comes to attitude . . . much like a soccer mom. The bear, embarrassed at being attacked by any pet named Schwartz, dismissed the dog with a swat of his paw. Schwartz, realizing he had made a serious miscalculation in the size and demeanor of the bear, retreated to the safety of his home. In this fight, the bear was declared the wiener.

My dictionary also defines hunt as "to search or seek." Jesus said in Mathew 6:33 - "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." I wonder sometimes if our season to hunt for the things of God is seldom open. We seem to find time for everything under the sun but hardly ever anything concerning the Son.

God also goes on the hunt. When hunters return from a successful hunt they tie their game to their vehicle's hood or trunk or open truck bed for everyone to see. When God gets His game He ties it to a cross and says, "Here, carry this." It is very low-key. Carrying a cross is best done without a lot of fanfare or publicity. God is looking for an endangered species, that rare Christian who wants to put the things of God first and be like Jesus.  And with God . . . hunting season is always open. Are you game? 

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