Forgiveness in the Turkey Woods
Generally speaking, we are faced with the subject of forgiveness multiple times each day. Sometimes we are the one who needs to do the forgiving, and sometimes we are in need of forgiveness. So how can we forgive those who go against us, and show love in times that we really don’t want to.
One of my favorite things in life is watching the world wake up as the sound of a screaming longbeard pierces through the morning air, it has been since my first turkey hunt when I was nine years old with my dad. That hunt was unforgettable, and it was also eleven years ago now. I’ve killed a turkey almost every year since then, and some years in different states. When I turned twelve, I wanted to share this passion with my best friend, so the 4 a.m. alarms begun and an unhealthy amount of Pop Tarts consumed. Springs came and went, and no matter how many birds I’d kill, we couldn’t seem to put a bird down for Tyler. Finally in 2017, almost eight years later, it was going to happen: three gobblers were coming on a string. At 15 yards, I shot, expecting to hear Tyler’s follow up on the other birds, but quickly realizing he had no shot. Eight years, one moment, countless early roadtrips, and I just ruined the opportunity. Instead of being upset, I was greeted with a fist bump, a huge hug, and a smile ear to ear. See, Ty showed me love and forgiveness before I even needed to ask for it, and it was by far one of the coolest moments I’ve experienced in the turkey woods.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says this, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Christ was, and is, the pinnacle example for forgiveness. Regardless of what you have done, what sin you’ve committed, the Lord can wash you clean. If we are to walk through life trying to emulate the way Jesus walked through life, we need to learn to forgive those who trespass against us, regardless of the situation. It’s easy to hold a grudge, and sometimes finding the strength to show love and compassion to those who do wrong can be hard, but then again, nobody ever said being a Christian would be easy.