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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: A Father-Son Story During Turkey Hunt

By Gary Miller

John’s dad, Johnny, propped his gun up on the shooting stick. It was too heavy for him to hold himself. He gathered his boy close to his bosom and carefully tried to help him aim at the turkey’s neck. In the meantime, Little John was intent on looking down the barrel and putting the bead on the target, just like he had been taught. At seven years old it was a lot to remember, but he seemed to be doing just fine. It was his dad who was a nervous wreck. This was his son’s first shot at a turkey and it was a full-fledged strutter; a trophy for anyone, man or child. Little John had laid his cheek on the stock of the gun. His hat and facemask were covering any lingering evidence of flesh. It was just a matter of time before the gobbler would appear in his line of fire. His dad gave him final instructions; “Pull the trigger when you have him in your sights.”

As quickly as the words were spoken, Little John shot – and missed. The turkey turned and took flight, unscathed by the experience. We gathered up any possibility of hope and looked for a sign on the ground of where the bird might have been hit. It was not to be. About five minutes passed and Little John was playing with his handheld game. His miss had somehow made its way to the list of things to not get overly discouraged about. He somehow knew that as long as dad was around, there would be other days and other opportunities. It even seemed his success had already taken place. It was when his dad invited him to go. Johnny on the other hand, kept reliving what had just happened. He mourned his son’s miss. He grieved the failed attempt. He so wanted his boy to shoot his first turkey. Tonight, Little John will sleep soundly; Johnny will not.

Our heavenly Father’s desire is for us to prosper. This doesn’t mean it’s His will for us to have a lot of money. Money could not replace this dad’s loss of joy. God’s prosperity, however, runs deeper than dollars. He wants to bless our experiences as much as Johnny wanted Little John to be successful. This may on occasion involve finances, but more often it involves other things He brings into our lives. When we really know God’s heartfelt desire to bless us, we don’t have to linger too long on the times we missed, because we know another opportunity will come if we’ll listen for the invitation from the Father.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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