By Gary Miller
For some reason my mind is lingering on one series of hunts. I was hunting in the Midwest and had done my homework as to where I needed to place my stand. I knew I was in a perfect travel route and the trail camera had confirmed that with pictures of some nice bucks. I put up my tree stand weeks before I was to actually hunt. Everything seemed perfect.
As time got closer, the landowner had gotten some good pictures from another location where several bucks were checking a large scrape. Even though I toyed with the idea of moving, I was determined to stick with my original plan. Day after day I manned my tree stand with perseverance. And I did see a few deer each day, along with a couple of decent bucks, but nothing like I had hoped for.
Each day my mind wondered to the other area, but again I put my faith in my consistency, perseverance, faithfulness, and overall sincerity. On the last full day of the hunt, I decided to move. It was the right thing to do. It was just two days too late.
All my life I have heard the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I understood the phrase but until recently I don’t think it every really sunk in. I'm hard pressed to think of a more apropos statement when it comes to the state of religion today.
If pluralism is the new religion, sincerity is her greatest commandment. It has trumped truth as the most important characteristic of her followers. It really doesn’t matter what one believes or even what one practices as long as he is sincere in the pursuit. Of course, that sincerity must express itself in kindness and tolerance, but if these three are primary, everything else is secondary – or even unimportant.
No matter how much I wanted to see a deer in my initial tree stand, the truth was, the deer were somewhere else. No matter how sincere I was in arriving early, persevering, and even begging God to bless me because I was such a good person, the deer were in another location. No matter how much I washed down in scent killer or no matter how many places I hung my deer attractant, the truth was, the deer were not where I was.
On the other hand, I could have cussed my land owner, kicked the dog, threw trash out of my pick-up, and disowned my faith; but if I would have moved to where the deer were, I might have not had to write this article. My point is this; truth is truth whether it comes from a jerk or from a saint.
And while most religions espouse morality and the virtues of goodness and kindness, these do not equate to whether what we believe is true or not. I can be sincere but sincerely wrong. Find what is true first and then sincerely follow it. Otherwise, you really may be paving the road to hell with your good intentions.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com