“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake.“
Never had I ever been more vigilant. Never had I been more awake and alert. My eyes were peeled. My ears were listening for the slightest of sounds. My heartbeat accelerated. Everything had become so clear to me.
That’s been my experience these last two hunting seasons in the deer stand.
Last year was my first year deer hunting. I walked away from the season empty-handed, but overall, I enjoyed being outdoors and feeling the thrill of it all.
Last weekend was the hunting season opener here in Minnesota, and of course, I went out. It was a pretty unproductive weekend of hunting. I missed my shot at a pretty good sized young buck. Yet, it was still thrilling.
One thing I’ve learned while hunting is that I must stay awake and alert. You won’t shoot a deer while you’re asleep in the stand! Now, maybe it’s just me being new to hunting, but every time I get up in my stand my senses seem to enhance. I slow my breathing so I can hear the sounds of the woods around me. I move my gaze around toward any sound that moves. Any twig that snaps gets my attention (most of the time it’s just a silly squirrel!). I am extremely vigilant.
I’ve never really felt that way before in my life. Maybe as a child when I was scared of the dark and anything and everything that seemed to move in the darkness of my bedroom. But, as an adult, I’ve never felt that awake, that alert, and that aware of my surroundings.
You need to be like that though as a hunter. You also need to be that way as a Christian.
How do you think your life would change if you gave your surroundings that much notice? I’m not just talking about being on the lookout for temptation and sin that is always crouching at your door. I’m also talking about being on the lookout for Jesus.
In His words to the apostle John in Revelation, Jesus implores His people to be awake. He wants Christians to be ready for when He comes for them. Jesus even tells the Christian to keep his garments on just in case (Rev. 16:15b). Always be ready. Always be awake. Don’t nod off to sleep. There’s too much at stake.
That’s the thrill of the Christian life. It’s a life lived always on the lookout and ever ready for the appearance of the Lord.
I thought sitting in a deer stand waiting for a deer would be boring and time would drag on slowly. Instead, I was surprised to find that being so awake and alert made my mind oblivious to the time of day. All I care about when I’m in my stand is what will enter my field of vision.
Christian, we all wait for Christ to enter our vision one day. We are all waiting for “our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). While we wait, we can’t afford to fall asleep. Christ desires us to be zealous for good works now while we look for His glorious appearing (Titus 2:14).
Be on the lookout for how you can serve Christ this day. Be on the lookout for opportunities to imitate Him to those around you. Be on the lookout for your blessed hope, the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.