By Gary Miller
Safety in the deer hunting world has made so many strides in the past few decades. I can remember when safety harnesses were not even invented and the only disclaimer on some climbing stands was ones that invoked its owner to “climb at your own risk.” Many hunters had accidents but it still surprises me that still more did not. I can remember owning one of those stands and I also remember the day it was stolen. I think the Lord was protecting me but not so much the guy who took it.
Since those days, climbing tree stands are now considered the safest. The same thing happened with those safety harnesses. At first the design was so bad that while it did keep you from falling to the ground, it left you hanging in midair to slowly suffocate from the restraint that was around your waist.
Today’s harnesses are very secure and well designed and some even have devices installed to allow you to safely lower yourself to the ground should you accidently fall out of the tree. The latest additions for safety are ropes that are attached to the tree at the bottom and just above the stand. The safety harness is attached to the rope while the hunter is on the ground and he or she stays connected to the rope at all times. This really does complete the process for being as safe as possible and it sure makes me feel better when I’m twenty-five feet in the air. And when it comes to deer hunting, higher is better as long as I'm still connected to the ground.
Sometimes I have the same concern about my Christian life. There is no doubt growing spiritually is my main concern. One might say I am trying to climb higher to the place of God. The truth is, however, if my spiritual life is not attached to the ground I'm no good to the ones that God has called me to minister to and thus no good to God. My spirituality is never meant to cause me to disassociate myself with my fellow man. It is meant to drive me deeper into their lives. Whatever I become through knowing more about God is meant to cause me to love my neighbor as myself. If my spiritual life is not producing that result, it may not be a Christian one.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org