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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Absence Can Make Your Heart Grow Fonder

By Gary Miller

If you hunt or fish long enough there will come times that you must give up your passion for other things. I can remember years ago opening a business during hunting season. The timing of the opening was not optional so you can imagine how often I got to hunt that year. There was also a time when my children’s activities took priority and another when I was working on a degree.

Absence, however, did make the heart grow fonder. This particular year is starting out much the same way. The busyness of life’s other things have not only pressed up to the edge of opening day, they have taken time that was not originally allotted to her needs. I know it’s early and I’m not panicking yet but I also know the days ahead don’t seem to be getting any easier. I’m glad I have scheduled time away in a few weeks because I know sometimes a season of not hunting becomes a long period of not hunting and I don’t want that to happen.

Many hunters are now former hunters because they encountered one of these times where they had to put hunting on the back burner for a season and they never came back. They got used to the absence. I’m glad that after raising my children and after businesses and school, I still want to get back to the water and the woods.

There are times in our lives that we are tempted to let other things take priority over our spiritual life as well. These times usually come when something has drawn us away for a period of time. Many times the things that have drawn us away are not bad. It may be that you had to sit with a sick child or a terminally ill mother. These may have kept you from attending a weekend gathering or from other spiritual activities. The first thing you need to know is that God understands and He wants you to know the circumstances that you are in are not designed to hinder your growth but to enhance it.

And even though it may seem you are unable to do the things you used to do, God will never leave you. He will make a way. One day things may return to some normalcy. When that happens, don’t get used to the absence of the things you once had to leave. Their importance has not diminished. In fact it was their worth that carried you through the time spent away.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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