It was a gorgeous North Carolina morning, an awesome morning for turkey hunting. It was a little cool as I walked into the woods, about an hour before sunrise. I walked a short way and hit the owl call but nothing. Walked a little farther, called and again, nothing. Walked on, called, and heard a gobble in the distance. Walked a little further, called and a gobble again. There was a large oak tree off to my right side and headed for it, sat down with my back leaning against the tree. I pulled out a slate call and a box call and did a few yelps on the slate and the gobbling got closer. The tom was coming my way and I started getting anxious. How big was it? How long a beard? Awesome spurs? Another hearty gobble and it was getting close, maybe a hundred yards but coming from behind. Should I move? Would it see me? The adrenalin was pumping! I hit the box call: “gobble, gobble, gobble” the tom said back to me. It was close…
Then I heard a disheartening sound. A hen was also responding to the gobbling. A real hen! The competition began but soon I heard the hen and gobbler going in a different direction and I was left thinking what could have been. I called periodically but no answer and as it warmed up, I got a little sleepy and dozed off. Woke up, a little over an hour had passed, and I hit the slate call a couple of times. Nothing answered but then I thought I heard something walking in the leaves, again coming from behind me. No gobble. I did a couple of purrs on my slate, no answer. Yet I heard something getting closer and closer, louder and louder. I am ready and nervous and anxious. I want to turn my head and look, but yet do not want to spook it (Turkeys have great vision). It is almost upon me and now I can see it in my peripheral vision. It is BIG! It is slowly moving beside me, 5 yards away. I cannot move, I cannot call…. I wait for it to get past… Wait, something is not right. It is not a turkey, it is a ….
Peacock! It saw me about the same time I saw it and it let out a blood curdling scream and I let out a yell myself! I was so startled and the anxiety and tenseness from all the anticipation just came out… along with my heart. The peacock ran off and I settled down, trying to figure out what happened. Of course, when I stopped at the local gas station/grocery/hangout and shared the story, the guys laughed and asked what I had been drinking. I took a lot of ribbing about this. (They finally told me there was a peacock farm next to the farm I was hunting, and they escaped a lot.)
This happened years ago, yet I have never forgotten the two of us screaming. Anxiety and fear can do that to you. It builds up and then you just explode. Paul says in Philippians 4:4-8: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Could you use some calm? Max Lucado writes: Celebrate God’s goodness. “Rejoice in the Lord always” (v.4). Ask God for help. “Let your requests be made known to God” (v.6). Leave your concerns with him. “With thanksgiving… (v.6). Meditate on good things. “Think about these things that are worthy of praise” (v.8).
C.A.L.M. We could all use a word of comfort… and God is ready to give it!