No matter what volunteer role one is called to during the weekend, everyone has a part in showing the Lord’s unconditional love to our young hunters. However, the role of a spiritual guide provides a very special opportunity. Here’s Bill’s story:

This past weekend I had the privilege of being a guide on our second hunt of the year here at Crossroads and was blessed to be paired with a fine young man from the Fort Worth area and his mentor. As I prepared for the hunt time, I had already begun to think of things to discuss in the blind with our youth, about his relationship with Christ and where his walk with Christ may be, but as I am about to tell you, God had another lesson for all of us to learn.

As of late, we have been blessed here at the ranch to have experienced very good fall rains and this particular hunt weekend was no different. Friday was a partly cloudy day with a few spotty showers but the good rain moved in that evening. As I woke on Saturday morning at 4:30 a.m., I could hear the sound of hard rain on the roof and knew that we were in for a wet morning hunt. In spite of the rain, all our hunters were excited and ready to brave the elements in search of a trophy harvest. We all made our way to the hunting blind, and I was pretty soaked by the time I got our youth and his mentor situated into our spot for the next few hours. As we sat there waiting for it to get light outside, we anxiously hoped that the rain would not keep the deer from feeding that morning. As it began to get light, sure enough we could start making out the images of some deer feeding about 100 yards in front of us. As we watched, I hoped the deer would continue feeding until we had more light so we might get a good shot. As it got lighter, one of the deer separated himself from the others and we decided to take the shot. My young hunter had some experience hunting before, so when we prepared for the shot he was as sturdy as a rock and was completely calm, I gave him the green light, and he fired. After the shot, both his mentor and I felt that he had made a perfect shot and that we would wait a few minutes for the rain to stop before we made our way down to see where the deer had run off. We took a moment to pray and thank the Lord for the opportunity to harvest an animal and were all excited to see our trophy. After the rain let up, we made our way down to the exact spot where the deer had been standing hoping to see a sign of the animal, but instead, we immediately noticed that our shot had gone low and struck a cactus instead of the deer, we were shocked and disappointed. We canvased the area to make sure we had not missed anything and felt very confident that it was a clean miss. We decided to go back to the blind and continue the morning hunt to see if anything else might come by. As we sat in the blind we discussed that we all felt that the young hunter had done everything right to make a perfect shot but why did he miss? Upon arriving back at camp that morning, we discovered that our gun was shooting 3 inches low and that was why the shot was missed. 

The young hunter, his mentor and I then discussed the lesson in this experience and noted, in this situation WE thought he had done everything right to make the perfect shot. But he missed the target because of something that he was unaware of. Do we do this in our Christian walk with God? Are there times that WE think we are doing exactly what God wants us to be doing, but we miss the mark and wonder why? Could it be that it was because WE decided what was best and did not seek scripture and listen to what God’s best is for us? We all agreed that while we were disappointed in a miss, we rejoiced in the lesson that God revealed to us about our daily walk with him. 

 “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10
Bill Baker