by Pastor Mark Fisher
November 10, 2016
It was the perfect morning for duck hunting, cold and cloudy with ice forming on the lakes. We had been anticipating this hunt for days. Our destination was a remote lake in a wilderness area of northern Minnesota which seldom saw hunters; and being late October meant that the Canadian born ducks would be flying south at this very time.
We eagerly put the canoe, portage wheels, guns, decoys and miscellaneous gear into the boat and headed north before sunrise. We went as far as the boat could take us and portaged the canoe and gear the last two miles. We arrived at the lake eager for the hunt! The three of us jumped into the canoe and headed across the lake. Then came near disaster; it was a close call. First, we were not wearing life preservers, second we forgot the one major rule when duck hunting in a canoe.
Have you ever had a close call due to unpreparedness or forgetfulness? I think many of us have. But the most important issue in life is salvation and it is not about a close call. God sent His Son into the world to assure our salvation through His blood. John 3:36 states, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." If we had to perform good works to get to heaven, then we might think in terms of close calls, but since Christ paid the penalty of sin, we can be sure heaven is ours.
What was the one major rule we had forgotten? All three of us aimed our guns 90 degrees to our left and fired at the exact same time as the ducks flew by. We nearly flipped the canoe over in the middle of the frigid lake. All three of us would have surely drowned in Ella Hall Lake, a lake that was named after a 15 year old girl who had drowned a century earlier.
By the way, the hunt was productive; we had never seen the sky so darkened by the hundreds of ducks which had soared overhead.