Thursday, June 11, 2009
As a teenager my dad and I would spend many afternoons hiking in the mountains looking for deer. One day we were high up on a steep mountain enjoying a beautiful day. We walked for hours, saw many deer, and had a great time together. About noon we found a large rock overhang. A great place to relax and enjoy our lunch. From our vantage point we had a great view of a large area. Hoping to see a few deer while we ate, we grabbed our home made sandwhiches.
It didn't take long before two bucks wandered out of the sparse trees feeding slowly towards us. One of the deer was a large, mature buck. The other was much smaller, likely only a year old. We enjoyed watching these two deer for several minutes. Keeping my eyes on them, I shifted around for a better view and unlodged a rock which fell down the cliff. The noise was loud enough that both deer startled.
Then an interesting thing happened. The big deer took off on a dead run. He was long gone before the rock even stopped rolling. But the smaller deer stopped and looked. He looked at the cliff. He looked up at us. He looked at where the rock stopped rolling. He was curious and seemed to want to know exactly where the rock had come from to verify if there was danger.
I learned an important lesson from those deer. At the very first sign of danger, the larger buck bolted. He didn't wait around until he knew things were really dangerous. He didn't take that chance, he was gone.
When it comes to temptation, am I more like the small buck or the big buck? Do I bolt at the first sign something may be dangerous? Or, do I wait around until I'm absolutely positive it's dangerous?
It is easy to look and look and look out of curiosity, wondering if what I am seeing is really all that bad. Right up to the point where I have put myself in a very precarious position.
I would like to be the older, wiser, more mature buck. The buck that knows his survival depends on getting as far away from any possible danger as soon as possible. That's not a bad motto for life.