Today marks the end of another spring turkey season and the beginning of my long wait until archery dates arrive in October. In the meantime, I can enjoy the turkey meat and regale you with my tales from this season.

What’s that? I never told you? Please allow me to do so! For the first time in my life, I tagged out on turkeys. With a legal limit of three, I actually got three, which was a complete reversal of last year when I scored zero.

The highlight of this season, other than the times I got to take my grandson, was to bag what is likely the biggest bird I’ll ever get. It weighed in at 25 pounds, 10 ounces and sported not one beard, but six! His spurs were also trophy length and now I have to find a spot for another mounted gobbler.

Since there is no way to know a bird’s weight or beard situation while he’s alive, this just proves that God is still gracious and that blind pigs do occasionally still find acorns. Thanks be to God for this gobbler and the other two He brought my way as well.

What happened about a half hour before my monster bird showed up was another highlight from this year’s spring woods. While waiting for turkeys to manifest themselves, two grey squirrels entertained me as they chased each other around a young white oak. Up and down, side to side, back and forth they went. They were having a grand old time.

As I was watching these woodland acrobats, somewhere from my left swooped a red-tailed hawk. Like a bullet from a rifle, he zeroed in on one of my squirrels and nailed him. Although I’ve seen predators miss their prey many times, I’ve seldom seen them score right in front of me.

Tragically, the hapless bushy tail never saw it coming. Either fighting with a foe or playing with a friend, his young life was cut short only to nourish another and likely feed some young hatchlings, also known as eyas, in a nearby nest.

This experience certainly provides an object lesson for all of us. God’s Word advises us in 1 Peter 5:8 to, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Many people live their daily lives oblivious to the fact that they even have an enemy, much less do they watch for him. Jesus told us that the devil’s agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy, and most of us know from personal experience that our adversary doesn’t play games.

Because of this, we must follow Peter’s advice and be self-controlled and alert. Even though we don’t have lions around here, we do have hawks, owls and coyotes. Their activity in the natural realm reminds us to be ever watchful in the spiritual one.

Like the squirrel, we tend to get caught up in petty fights with each other distracting us from our real enemy and become vulnerable to his cunning attacks. In the other direction, we can be involved in so much leisure, recreation, and play that we become susceptible because we have failed to prepare ourselves spiritually.

Knowing that we have an adversary is the first step, but then we must remain ever vigilant and always self-controlled that we might prevent being destroyed by him. In addition, we can help one another by covering each other’s backs in prayer and wise counsel. Partnering with each other instead of squabbling results in much more effective protection for both parties.

Once again, God’s incredible physical creation teaches us an important spiritual lesson. Let’s be wise enough to learn from it and to be ever watchful and self-controlled that we might prevent being taken out by our fierce foe.

Blessings, George

George Bowers is the Senior Pastor of Antioch Church and has authored 16 books including Blessings Volume 3 which is a collection of these articles. It is available at Four Star Printing, Shenandoah Stuff, and Fort Valley Nursery. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at gabowers@shentel.net.

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