My annual gun hunt to Brady, Texas (located in West Central Texas) was scheduled for this weekend but was cancelled due to rain. This was a frustrating set of circumstances as my heart was set on this trip and I had been planning for it for months.
This cancellation reminded me of my resolve to never to give up, no matter what the weather turns out to be or anything else that comes my way. Hunting, fishing, or any outdoor pursuit can be frustrating at times. If you have been participating in the outdoors for long, you will no doubt have had setbacks or missed opportunities. We all have. The most important reminder, regardless of the circumstances, is to never give up hope. As long as you wake up on this side of the ground, it’s a good day.
I still wanted to hunt this weekend so I went out to a hunting ranch I work with for a hog hunt with one of my World War II military surplus rifles. The weather was awful and the hogs stayed bedded up all evening. It was one of the worst weather days I have had in the field in a long time but I endured it. Later that evening, after sunset, I was caught out in one on the worst thunderstorms I have experienced in years before my guide could come pick myself and the other hunters up from the field. I had a rain suit on and took shelter in my ground blind but even then I still got wet. It didn’t matter, I still kept a positive attitude. I knew I would have another chance to come back and hunt again so all was not lost.
There are a few things I am reminded of when I have a rough experience. Consider that a billion or so people slept on a dirt floor last night. Over 80% of the world will never use a cell phone. Our problems aren’t all that bad in comparison. Regardless of what comes my way with work, family, friends, or other aspects of my life, I always try to live in gratitude for all that I have, all that I have had, and all that I will have in the future. I believe that living a life of gratitude for the blessings we all have is crucial to success in any pursuit and this is especially true in the outdoors. No matter what happens to you, there is always something you can find to be grateful for around you and there is no reason to play the victim to your circumstances. I subscribe to the belief that we are made stronger by our adversities if we learn to fight through them and keep moving forward, learning along the way.
An idea I use to help me stay in this state of always giving thanks to our Creator is to place reminders around me of all that I have to be thankful for in the past, present, and future. These are usually photos, messages from loved ones, notes from my customers, and other keepsakes. In this season of thanksgiving, I am reminded that we should be thankful all year long for the blessings we have, not on just one holiday.
The Brady trip was rescheduled. In a couple of weeks I go on a trip with my Christian brothers from Crosswater Outfitters, a Christian ministry supporting veterans and their families, on a jug fishing trip to Lake Conroe for trophy catfish. All is well. Even if I get rained on again, which happened the entire weekend on last December’s trip to Lake Conroe in 30 degree temperatures, I will still keep a positive attitude and I encourage you to do the same as well. It sure makes life a little more fun when you look at it as a journey, not just a destination. It takes a change in perspective sometimes for us to look at adversity and setbacks as just another road bump along the way. Be who you are, use what you have, and do what matters. Make the best of what you have at the end of each day and live your life to its fullest potential. Life is short. By the time we figure it all out, the moments to enjoy it have already past. Live in the journey…