I don't mean to self promote and I know everyone is not fond of killing animals, but this past November I was able to go deer hunting over Thanksgiving and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and harvest this nice 9-point Whitetail buck back in West Virginia and now I have a freezer full of meat to enjoy this next year.
Many people make preparations for hunting season. Whether they hunt with a bow, a shotgun, rifle, crossbow, pistol, or a muzzleloader many gather the equipment, ammunition, clothing, and many scout out the place in the woods(forest for you city folk) where they think they may be able to see deer to be able to get a chance to shoot at one.
The thing i've always found humorous is the fact that many go overboard in pursuit of that trophy buck. Whether it's how the prepare, dress, or do things to gain an advantage over the deer. Honestly, I make a little effort during bow season to conceal my scent, but during gun season it's all out the window.
I just go out there and with my huge blaze orange coveralls still having yesterdays cologne and hope for the best. During gun season the woods are full of anxious or over-zealous hunters and male deer's (bucks) are chasing female deer's (does) for natural reasons. I would love to tell you I'm a great hunter with all the skill in the world, but the fact is, I enjoy the outdoors, I enjoy hunting, and I am lucky and blessed. I want to fill my deer tag, fill my freezer, and have some good stories to tell, but in the end I'm in the right place at the right time.
The reason I tell you all this is that sometimes as christians we go overboard in our faith and get fanatical or legalistic, when we just need to get back to the basics. Also, finding God is not about being at the right place at the right time, but making a conscience effort to discover God all around us and what He has to offer our lives compared to what the world has to offer.
When I deer hunt I spend a lot of time with God and thinking about my faith. I find a lot of comparisons. Sometimes we get caught up in the pursuit that we miss the prize. Sometimes we get so busy making preparations, we don't enjoy the hunt. Sometimes people hunt for the horns instead of the harvest of meat. Sometimes people worry about things that don't really matter anyway.
Seeking God is the same way. We enjoy the research, but miss God. Sometimes we are so busy serving or doing church, we miss God. Sometimes we seek attention, accolades, or recognition when we need to seek humility, repentance, or submissiveness. Sometimes we get caught up on issues of opinion or preference instead of realizing the freedom we have in Christ and not every issue is a salvation issue.
When deer hunters get caught up in that, they sometimes miss deer, sometimes they miss out on the joy or experience of hunting, or they miss the true meaning or intent. When people get caught up on that, they miss God, they miss out on a true worshipful experience, or something God might be trying to teach them. Sometimes they miss out on spiritual growth, maturity, or blessing.
God is the ultimate prize. Salvation through Jesus is the ultimate trophy. Finding God and making Him Lord of your life is the ultimate hunt.
"Run in such a way as to get the prize." I Corinthians 9:24b(NIV)