This a daddy/daughter time in our household. We do not have any sons for my husband to pass on his love of hunting to, so he has passed it on to our daughter Kalynn. Several years ago he purchased Kalynn a gun and then went through the Hunter's Safety Course with her. Since that time November has become all about getting a deer.
This is not just a one day event in our home. Several years ago they spent weeks building a permanent deer stand on the back side of our property. A couple of months before season the two hunters begin preparing their spot. they put up a fence to keep out cows and horses, but let deer in. (Deer are amazing jumpers!) They often plant a special 'deer garden.' They offer the deer snacks.
As you can tell, there is a lot of time spent together. A daddy who realizes how quickly his baby has turned into a woman. A daughter who realizes how much she still wants and needs time with her dad. It is and hopefully always will be a special time.
Back to the manners part of this story. After weeks of preparation, opening morning for deer season had come. Kevin and Kalynn roused out of be about 5:00 in the morning, grabbed a bowl of cereal, layered on long underwear and orange, and headed to the perfect spot. The one that they had been preparing for weeks. They climbed up into the stand built by their own hands and settled in to wait for the deer. They knew it would be great because they had seen a big buck a couple of days before. Lots of anticipation.
But what do you think happened? Across the fence sat two other hunters. Two hunters who had not taken time to build the stand, plant the garden or offer snacks. There they were. And as the sun began to creep up over the horizon offering just enough light to see, some thing was coming through the autumn wood. Before my team knew what happened a shot rang out. No big buck came that morning into their sights. Nor has it any morning yet.
I have thought about this for several days. My first thought was 'how unfair.' But as I've thought about it more I have realized that what causes something to be fair or unfair is often using or lacking in manners. I know that the deer woods are probably not a place most people think of in regard to manners, but if we are ladies and gentlemen won't that carry over into every thing we do? Saying please and thank you, allowing someone else to go first and not taking something that someone else has worked for should be the norm.
Someone once told me that it was our right to be happy. That no matter what it took for each person to be happy the means could be justified. I don't believe that. I believe the person who runs over everyone around himself or herself will eventually run off everyone else. That person will be left alone and lonely. God's Word says to 'prefer others above your self.' I know that I can't make someone else have manners, but I can choose to live my life with them.
Lord, today I make a concious choice to prefer others before myself. I choose to treat others as I would want to be treated. I choose to have manners. I choose to let You shine throught me.