Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FEET (01/17/19)
TITLE: Hunt of a Lifetime
By Bonnie Kronberger
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A list of recommended gear was sent so I could prepare for the hunt. I purchased the clothing and backpack but opted for a cheaper boot. Instructions also came for a three month workout to prepare my body for the hunt. I did some of the workouts but was confident in my strength, so figured I was good to go.
Years of saving, skimping, and dreaming finally resulted in me flying in a small plane to the backcountry of Alaska and landing on a rocky riverbank. My guide and I unloaded and watched the plane disappear into the distance. I was energized and eager to begin my ten day hunt.
And so it began. Day after day, mile after mile, we walked to where the bears should be. The ground was wet and spongy. The terrain varied from gentle slopes to steep hills, sometimes forcing us to walk on a sideways slant. I was surprised my feet began to hurt the first day. The second day I could feel blisters developing. By day three blisters were oozing and bloody sores had developed. I was in pain but my goal was to shoot a bear. I paid tens of thousands of dollars for this opportunity so I was determined to persevere. I was certainly experiencing the wet, cold, and miserable part of the hunt.
Day three we spotted a bear through our scope, but he was a few miles away and it would soon be dark so we had to return to camp. I was hopeful tomorrow would be the day I got my bear.
Next morning my socks were stuck to my feet from scabs and dried blood. I gingerly slipped on my boots and laced them up. I hobbled out of the tent, grimacing in pain. Failure was not an option.
The guide was aware my feet were in bad shape, but it was clearly my decision to continue the hunt. After breakfast we headed out. Sadly, within the first few miles, I had reached my limit. The pain was unbearable.
“I’m done,” I cried. “I can’t go on.”
The pilot was called to pick us up. It took several agonizing hours of walking before getting to a place where the plane could land. No words can describe my suffering or disappointment.
Have I been as careless in caring for my soul as for my feet? I was given clear recommendations for the proper boot, but I chose an inferior product. I skimped on the workouts so my feet were not conditioned to the boot and the results were disastrous. God gives us step by step instructions for putting on His full armor, clear down to the feet. If I ignore His instructions I’m not properly fit to fight the battle of life. Satan’s arrows can find the chink in my armor and injury can infect my soul.
My first mistake was not valuing the suggestions. Bear in mind (pun intended) I considered instructions as suggestions. Disregarding them resulted in problems. Are God’s instructions to be treated as suggestions? My next mistake was thinking I could persevere through the pain in my feet. I knew what I wanted and ignored the warning pain. How many times have I done the same thing with my soul? Fixed my eyes on my goal, ignoring God’s wisdom? Poor choices can result in suffering and scars, for souls and for feet. I want a healthy soul and soles to run after Jesus. Although my mangled feet made it impossible to finish the hunt, if it is well with my soul, I can finish the most important race well.
We eventually made it back to where the plane could pick us up, but being off my feet at last was not the relief I hoped for. So much damage caused excruciating pain even as I reclined. It was weeks before I could walk comfortably again and my feet never recovered to their former health. It was a lesson for me. I will care for my soul, better than I cared for my feet. And if I ever get to go on another Alaska bear hunt, I will pay the big bucks and buy the recommended footwear and follow the recommended workouts!
Ephesians 6:10-18. Proverbs 16:9
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