By Gary Miller
For too many years to count I have showed up at the same farm on my first day to hunt, to hear birds gobbling. Not only am I on the same farm, but I always go to the same location, knowing I’ll be setting up at a favorite roosting area for several toms and hens. This year was no different. I never even used a locater call. I just simply went to a particular tree and waited until daylight to do a light yelp. My call was immediately followed by three gobblers letting me know they will be down shortly. They have never stood me up and neither did they on that day. It wasn’t long until two of the three were making their way up the hill, and just in front of my position. Both lived to gobble another day. That’s the way it usually happens. You see, just because I could set up 100 yards away, doesn’t mean I can shoot 100 yards. Neither does it mean the path between them and me will be as planned.
In fact, most of the time, it’s not. It would just be too easy if it was. No, most of the time, I am contending with a hen who wants to lead them away from me or I’m just set up in a way that doesn’t allow me to turn in order to get a good shot. So, I watch and wait, and hope and pray, that something out of the blue will cause these birds to make their way in front of my shotgun barrel. If they don’t, I’ll try to be patient, especially since it’s early in the season. It’s just too early to risk the chances of them never showing up again. Maybe the next day, they will be there again, and I will be set up in a way that will make it all come together. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
Like my scenario, I think those of us who share the gospel would be more successful in our approach if we learned the art of timing. While the message of grace is always ready, the recipient is not. Sometimes, it’s better to do as Greg Koukl suggests, and that is simply to put a pebble in someone’s shoe – not anything that will keep them at home, but just a nugget of truth that is a little uncomfortable. Too many times, preachers come down so hard on an unbelieving attender, they never show up again. And while I understand the urgency of salvation, I also understand the function of the Spirit. If it’s not there, it’s not time. But if it’s not time today, it just might be tomorrow, unless on their first visit we took a bad shot and ran them off into the next county.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.