Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Two Fathers

The Wednesday morning sunrise from the crest of Wildcat Ridge on Howard Mountain Hunting Lease. The ground fog in the valleys on this crisp morning, coupled with the brilliance of the sunrise, was magnificent.

The moon setting at sunrise as seen from the eastern-most hardwood ridge on the lease. The tall ridge in the background is Puckett Mountain, which provides the spectacular backdrop for the 17th tee at Cortez.


It was great to be back home. It was a pure joy to preach again in Sheridan and Benton. I had such a wonderful time hunting with Eric Sheridan and Gabe Bennett. I enjoyed being with Jamie Saveall and Ryan O'Neal watching Jessieville Lions baseball atop a ball bucket in front of the visiting team dugout in Bauxite on Saturday. And what's a trip home without Friday night catfish from Riverside?

Granted, the turkey hunting left something to be desired. Too many hens resulted in sporadic gobbling activity. Gabe and I did get close on Thursday morning, but a hen led the gobbler away once he was within about 80 yards.

All told, I spent 61 hours over the course of 5 days hunting. The result was $250 in license fees, two flat tires to change, an eye nearly swollen shut due to pollen, three books read during the hunting dead times, a body clock set to wake up still at 4:30 a.m. CST, and not a single turkey harvested.

But that doesn't mean it wasn't one of the best weeks of my life! The highlight of the entire nine day stay was the quality time I spent with my two fathers.

My dad provided the lodging (we slept in their camper for three nights for effect), the lunch feast each day (Beanie Weenies, Vienna Sausage -- the typical midday hunting staples), the transportation, and the stories. Being in nature with my dad is priceless and the time we shared -- from old hunting stories, to memories of my Papaw and insights into the Bible and our faith heritage -- is forever etched into my memory bank.

Thanks, Dad, for everything. The Honda Rancher was really nice...but just being with you was even better!

My other Father, though, was present as well! In every sunrise, in the waking up of nature each morning, the clear fingerprint of my other Father was unmistakable. From the brilliance of the moon setting in the west on Tuesday morning to the spectacular sunrise on Wednesday morning, the omnipotent creativity of my Father God was impossible to miss.

Today, I count myself among the luckiest of people. I have two Dads, two Fathers and last week they combined to provide me a week I'll never forget.