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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Great Expectations & Hopes For New Year

By Gary Miller

I just made one more, quick trip, to the Midwest. My friend had located a few shooter bucks and invited me to join him. I had a great visit but left without pulling a trigger. It was four days of cat and mouse. Wherever I hunted, the bucks showed up at a different location. I chased them until my days ran out. The fun and comradery were of the Boone and Crockett size. These will be great memories. I was, however, able to take a nice doe at home before the season officially ended. The summer sausage and meat sticks that I will enjoy this year will be a tasty reminder of another year of deer hunting in the books. My expectations for this season were not met. They rarely are.

I wonder sometimes why I don’t lower them. It seems it would be so much easier and would offer me so much more happiness and sense of achievement. But I can’t. I mean I really can’t. I’m not sure why. I don’t think it’s pride. If it were, I would think I would be more concerned about just getting something on the ground. I do know I’m not as keen on dragging deer to my truck as I used to be when I was younger. It’s work, and the prize needs to be worth the effort. And yet my expectations remain at a distance beyond my ability to change.

As we move into a new year, I'm absolutely positive that my expectations are greater than what probably will occur. But because I can use the word “probably” I keep setting my standards high. I have just enough odds to keep me hoping for something that is greater than I have known. I'm also absolutely positive there are many, many people whose expectations are that this new year will hold more hurts and difficulties, just like last year. While I see hope, they see hopelessness. Many of these good people are not without some hope, it’s just that the past has been so difficult and the issues still remain, they have given in to honest pessimism.

If you are one of these individuals, I want to offer a prayer for you and ask that all those reading would do the same. “Lord, I pray right now for those reading this whose circumstances seem hopeless. I pray for those who see the next year as one with more and greater difficulties. I ask at the very moment they read these words, that a sense of peace would fill their mind and body and that it would be so great they cannot deny you have seen their predicament and heard their prayer. Give them Your peace that passes their understanding and let it give them a trust in You they have never known. Amen.”

Will you repeat these words with me? There is someone in your life that needs this right now. And if you are the one who is the recipient of this peace, I will pass on your thanks for these outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen who believe in the power of prayer.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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