Hot September

I had just gotten my son, Luke, situated in the brush and I was adjusting my seat. September in Alabama means three things. It’s still hotter than you want it to be. College football is back. Hunting season is here!


We made the trip about two hours south to a cattle farm on our second annual dove hunt. This would be Luke’s first time shooting with an actual shotgun and he was fired up. I was excited too. However, the thought of sitting in the blazing afternoon sun was daunting. 


We were along a power line and unfortunately for us there wasn’t a great place to set up that wasn’t facing dead west into the sun. Within minutes we were sweating and uncomfortable.

 

“Dad, it’s real hot…” said the camouflaged eight year-old sitting just in front of me. 

“I know man… but that’s just how it is… gonna have to tough it out.” I replied. 


We sat, sweltering in the hot sun for an hour or so before any action started. I kept looking up at the sky trying with all my might to somehow convince the giant burning orb to sink below the distant hills. It didn’t work. I was pretty miserable.


Suddenly someone down the power line shouted “from the right!”


In a snap everything changed. The moment the birds started flying we both forgot about the temperature. I watched as he was consumed with the moment. He scoured the skyline for the doves as they came down the power line.

 

“Gun up… ready” I said. 


He raised his gun, found the mark and squeezed the trigger. 


We were in the perfect spot. For the next ninety minutes birds were coming in from the left, and the right. It was a blast. I love spending those moments with him in the wild. 


What changed in that moment?


What happened that changed the equation for us? 


The sun was still blazing down on us. We were still sweating and uncomfortable. The only thing that changed in that moment was where our attention was focused. When we flipped the switch into “action” mode the things that were really difficult to bear suddenly became secondary. 


This is the power of passion in your life. When you flip the switch in your own world into “action” mode, something happens. It’s true for all of us. There is something inside of you that is triggered when you are in your zone. Things that were previously hurdles become smaller. 


We all have this somewhere on the inside. The problem for most of us is that we’ve either let life pile up so high that we’ve buried our passion, or we’ve allowed ourselves to settle into a zone that we were never meant to operate in. 


If you’re reading this and you can’t identify what that “thing” is in you that flips your switch then you must stop and figure it out. Living a life without passion is a death sentence. We are killing ourselves when we allow excuses to keep us from tapping into the things that God made us to do. 


Here’s the catch. Simply identifying what you love or what you’re passionate about is completely useless if you can’t find ways to express it. It’s not good enough to simply be able to answer the question: “What am I passionate about?”


You’ve got to find a way to express it. Live it out. Take an action that puts you in position to experience the ultimate fulfillment of doing the things you love. 


Life itself is found in the act of living, not simply the act of knowing. 


On the way home from that hunt I asked Luke if he liked being out in the field, even though it was hot. His response punctuated this very truth. 


“Dad, anytime you are going and it’s ok if I come with you…I want to be there.”


Live out your passion this week. Find ways to be ready when opportunity presents itself. Be a man who matters.