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Seaside Hunting Club

(A fiction story)

Laughter filled the night air as the men moved from the grill to the camp fire. A few sat down and propped their feet up. People with common sense did not stay outside on nights like this, but at Seaside hunting camp like all other hunting clubs men sat outside around a fire no matter what the weather because that is what men like to do. This night was crystal clear; all of the stars were in attendance. They too seemed to want to learn from the camp’s guest.
 Usually conversations at a hunting camp were never too serious. They could not be because everyone at a camp is an expert on everything, especially hunting, sports, politics, and religion. This night was different. These men knew when they were sitting with a man with wisdom.
 John Zebedeeson chuckled hoarsely when he was asked the question “What do you do with your money is these stinking times, how do you handle it?” Odd question for a hunting camp, but these were bad times. The financial markets were the worst in a lifetime. The economy was tanking and these men’s money with it.
 Teaching was his calling and he enjoyed the opportunity. Of course, he had learned from the best.
 He shifted his weight on his log stool. His giant calloused and scarred hands gripped the curve of the smooth pine cane. His knees were going bad. His back was in sad shape, his hips were ruined; the list went on and on. He did not mind, it was just a part of service to his old teacher. He had grown up fishing with his dad Zeb and his brother James. He had a gnarly scar that snaked around his arm from where as a boy he had tried to pull in a net of Tilapia by himself and the fish had won that tug of war. He would have been a scarred man from the fishing alone. However his friend Jesus had other plans for him. The prisons, the beatings, being cold and hungry were taking their toll. He was getting old and looked older.
 His mind focused to the question at hand; how do you handle your money.
 “That is a good question. I hope that my answer will not bore everyone, it is on the serious side.”
 “First your perception of money has to be correct. The Teacher often said, and my friends Matthew and Luke have written about this, ‘You cannot love both God and money’. Therefore the first question that I ask you is; whom do you love?”
 “God knew that we would make a complete mess of our finances. He knows that we cannot serve Him and money, therefore He has given us complete instructions on how to control our money so that it does not control us.”
 “In this time we all want to worry about the markets and the economy. Specifically we want to worry about our investments and income. I urge you to remember what Jesus taught; Matthew’s book describes these teachings. He taught us not to worry about being provided for. God knows that we need food to eat and clothes to wear. He knows that we need to pay our bills. God wants to provide these solutions for us. This is a practical step in not worrying. Do not dwell on the bad that is taking place and constantly being covered by the news media. Trust in the Lord for your provision.”
 John added, “Another practical step in these times is to make an honest assessment of where your finances are today. You must research the facts about expenses, income, investment returns, job prospects, and any new occurrences in you life. Then reset any goals in your life that should be reset and plan accordingly to reach them.”
 “That makes sense.” The man that had asked the question nodded understandingly.
 His buddy poked at him “If you would hunt better you would not have to worry about food.” The men all laughed and someone started dissecting the day’s hunt. However, their minds were stuck on John’s question “Whom do you love?”

April 9, 2009

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