Turkey hunting was something I had always wanted to try. Some consider it the most addictive pursuit in the outdoor world, so when my good friend Kyle invited me to go on a turkey hunt for the first time I was pumped. My friends had warned me that once you start chasing turkeys all other wild-game pursuits would pale in comparison. I had my doubts. It’s hard to beat an early morning in the blind when the ducks are flying.
I am, by nature, a preparer. I love to research and plan for whatever scenario I may be walking into. As I prepared for my first turkey hunt experience I began to study all things turkey. The beauty of today’s technology is that within seconds I had access to all the information I needed to become an expert turkey hunter. After a couple videos on YouTube, a quick scan of Wikipedia, and a trip to the outdoors store for some gear I certainly looked the part and could even carry on a conversation to prove I belonged.
When we got in the woods that morning I realized pretty quickly that there’s a difference between simply knowing about turkey hunting and having knowledge about the turkey we were chasing. The videos and articles I had reviewed had given me all the information I needed to know about turkey hunting, but they had failed to explain the key factor that separates real turkey hunters from guys who simply want to hunt turkeys. It was about a relationship.
Kyle is crazy about turkeys. If it was socially acceptable or legal, I believe, he would chase them every day of the year. But Kyle is also an excellent turkey hunter. Sure, he looks the part, knows how they operate, where to find them, and even how to speak their language. What sets Kyle apart, however, is his drive to learn the bird. In other words, Kyle doesn’t just know about turkey hunting, he knows the turkey. On that morning he knew the particular bird we were hunting. He had studied him. He knew his patterns. He knew his sound.
The world we are living in now is saturated with information. Unlike any generation before us we now have access to anything we seek at a moments notice. Whether you want to know the forecast in a distant city, or you’re trying to settle an argument with a friend over who was the Yankee’s third baseman in 1974, it is rare that you aren’t able to find what you seek. Information is abundant, but in this age of abundant information, truth has becomes difficult to find.
As we are bombarded with facts and information, the truth in life which our souls are desperately searching for has become shrouded in the idea that if we simply know more about a subject, or about a person, we feel like we have a relationship with them or the topic. What I’ve come to experience is quite different. No matter how much knowledge I have about a topic or about a person, it does not equate to a relationship.
Our pursuit of God is no different. Many of us grew up around church. We know the bible stories. We know about God and we’ve heard that He loves us. Something incredible happens, however, when we step from simply knowing about God and shift to knowing Him. It changes the game. The truth that our souls are longing for is only found in a relationship with Jesus. Merely knowing about Him will never be enough to bring you the significance you are searching for.
No matter who you are or what you are chasing in your life, I urge you to consider shifting your focus to knowing God. Don’t simply strive to know more about Him. Get to know Him. There is peace when you know God. There’s hope when you know God. There’s meaning to your life when you know God. If you’re ever going to achieve the significance in life that you’ve been searching for it will have to be rooted in a relationship with the God who created you.
My first morning in the turkey woods was amazing. Because of Kyle’s relationship with the turkey we were able to be in the perfect spot. Because of Kyle’s relationship with that turkey we were able to position ourselves for the perfect shot. Kyle’s relationship with that particular turkey, as opposed to simply knowing about turkeys, allowed us to have an amazing experience.
At GRIP WILD we want your life to be amazing. We want you to experience your journey with passion and purpose. We want you to find the significance you are looking for and be a man who matters, but that all begins with a relationship. Men who matter and make a difference are men who don’t simply know about the God who created them, but truly know Him.