Mid-May marks the end of another spring turkey season and the beginning of my long wait until I can hunt deer in October. In the meantime, I can enjoy the turkey meat and regale you with tales from last season.

What’s that? I never told you? Please indulge me! For the first time, I tagged out on turkeys. With a limit of three, I actually got three!

The highlight of last year’s season, however, other than the times I got to take my grandson, was to bag what is likely the biggest bird I’ll ever get. It weighed 25 pounds, 10 ounces and sported six beards! His spurs were also trophy length and now I have to find a spot for another mounted gobbler.

Since there is no way to know a bird’s weight or beard situation while he’s alive, this just proves that God is still gracious and that blind pigs do occasionally still find acorns. Thanks be to God for this gobbler.

What happened 30 minutes before my monster bird showed up was another highlight. While waiting for turkeys, two grey squirrels entertained me as they chased each other around a young white oak. Up and down, side to side, back and forth they went.

As I watched these woodland acrobats, somewhere from my left swooped a red-tailed hawk. Like a rifle bullet, he nailed one of my squirrels. The hapless bushy tail never saw it coming. Either fighting with a foe or playing with a friend, his life was cut short only to nourish another.

This provides a lesson for all of us. First Peter 5:8 advises us to, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Many live their daily lives clueless that they even have an enemy. Jesus told us that the devil’s agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy, and most of us know from experience that our adversary doesn’t play games.

Because of this, we must be self-controlled and alert. Even though we don’t have lions in the US, we do have hawks, owls, and coyotes. Their activity in the natural realm reminds us to be ever watchful in the spiritual one.

Like the squirrels, we can get caught up in petty fights distracting us from our real enemy and become vulnerable to his cunning attacks. Or we can be involved in so much leisure and recreation that we become susceptible because we have failed to spiritually prepare.

Knowing that we have an adversary is the first step, but then we must remain vigilant and self-controlled that we might prevent being destroyed. In addition, we must cover each other in prayer and wise counsel. Partnering instead of squabbling results in much more effective protection for both parties.

God’s incredible creation teaches us important spiritual lessons. Let’s be wise enough to learn them and to be ever watchful and self-controlled that we might prevent being taken out by our fierce foe.

George Bowers – Executive Board member