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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: It Pays to be Prepared

By Gary Miller

I’ve always considered myself a prepared hunter. Some would say over prepared. I very rarely go into the woods without my backpack. During the colder months, this is especially true. Since I’m never sure as to what the weather will bring, I take just about everything. My backpack is over three-thousand cubic inches. I strategically place additional clothes in it or strapped to it. The nooks and crannies are stuffed full of other things like snacks, a drink, glasses, a book, paper, and pen. And there’s also my umbrella and rain gear. In addition to all of this, I carry a fanny pack as well; full of calls, scents, rope, compass, trimmers, and anything else that suits my fancy. Now some of you are already laughing at my overkill. You’re not the first. I’ve never weighed my gear, but I figure it really doesn’t matter because the burden of the load is a small price to pay to be a more prepared, and even satisfied, hunter. Sometimes the weight is cumbersome but as the season progresses it eventually becomes almost unnoticeable.

Some of you are carrying a load of a different kind. It’s a burden that weighs on your heart and mind. It may be one you have caused, or one you had nothing to do with. These burdens come through all sorts of circumstances, from sickness, the concern over a child, the loss of a job, divorce, or a host of other things. Your mind is questioning the purpose of such a burden and the devil is quick to answer your question by casting the guilt squarely in your lap and telling you, “If you had only (fill in the blank) this would have never happened, and now God will abandon you to suffer the consequences alone.” The Bible is clear about the devil and his ways. It says he is the father of lies and his purpose is to destroy your faith by causing you to doubt and disbelieve God. The truth of the Scriptures assures us of several things. They tell us we are loved by God, He will never leave us, and He has promised to bring good to our lives even in the midst of our burdens. He has also promised peace. Having peace many times, doesn’t come from the burden being taken away, but by changing our mind concerning it. My backpack was not a burden because I knew in my mind it would make me better prepared. The weight was the same, but my mind counted it worthwhile. What you may need right now is not your burden removed, but only to see it from God’s perspective. It is not bigger than He is. In fact, it is simply a tool in His hands to prepare you for what He is making you to be. Ask God to give you peace in your trial. He will give it in such a way, it will surprise even you.

Gary Miller has written Outdoor Truths articles for 20 years. He has also written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events. He can reached via email at


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