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By GARY MILLER
This week marks the beginning of turkey season in my area. After months away from matching wits with a big gobbler, I’m excited to hear his familiar sound echo throughout the woods. His voice is unique to all of hunting and yet is so recognizable. It really doesn’t take a great hunter to know when he is in turkey country. He does not have to look for the signs, only listen for the sounds. He will let you know where he is hanging out.
What makes hunting this bird difficult, however, is getting from where you are to where he is. It is overcoming the obstacles that may lie in between. In my area, it is negotiating the creeks, hollows and thickets in order for there to be a clear course for our paths to meet. I will have a greater chance to succeed in getting a shot at that bird if I can close the distance. Otherwise, my gobbler will find plenty of other suitable reasons to stop along the way or it may simply be unable to get to where I’m at. Many times, however, the terrain between the bird and me is impossible for me to get through. On those days I go home empty-handed.
Many people pursue God this way. They hear His call and begin their journey toward Him. They feel it is their job to close the distance. It begins with a plan; one that involves how they will get to God or Heaven. That plan always involves a thorough cleaning up of one’s self. It continues with a comparison – making sure their skill is as good as anyone else’s. And it concludes with a determination based upon one’s own ability. The problem is this plan will always end up with a chasm between them and God that cannot be overcome by human effort. What this means is that you and I cannot get to God. He must come to us. And this is what He did in sending Jesus into the world. When we could not get to where He was, He came to us.
What we must remember is that God is pursuing us and in that He is not asking us to even meet Him halfway. What He is asking is that we would admit that we are effortless in spanning the gap between us and God, that we recognize Jesus as the answer to our need, and that we put all of our hope and trust in Him.
All of the work is not on our part, but on God’s. And God’s pursuit of us will always end with success.
Gary Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.