“Let’s practice so I know you’re watching. What happens when you see a deer?”
I yelled, “Deer!” And we both laughed.
Sounds ridiculous. But my twin and I were driving to Wisconsin to visit our little sister; she lives in the north woods.
It isn’t merely autumn in full bloom up there; it’s deer season.
The rut has begun.
It’s the time of year when love is in bloom, and boy deer are trying to find their girl deer.No candy and flowers involved, but there is a lot of chasing and running away.
Much of this running happens across county roads. At dusk or dawn. When drivers don’t seem to be as careful as during full daylight.
Which is why there are so many collisions between car and deer. The deer often lose.
A couple years ago, my sister had her welcome to Wisconsin by getting hit by a doe at dusk. The deer jumped from the forest to the road just as Janet drove by–there was nothing she could do to stop. She was one of the lucky ones. There wasn’t much damage to her car and she was unhurt; the doe, after getting up and shaking herself, ran from the road.
This has made her aware of the possibility of deerly encounters. We needed to be careful as we drove toward her home at dusk.
Gayle appointed me deer watcher. I embraced that request with responsibility. I peered into the darkening woods as we drove by and could see glimpses of movement.
No deer crossed our path.
The next day as we drove, the beauty of the autumn color palette was all around us. I was still the deer watcher, but I got distracted.
And three does leaped into the road in front of our car.
I saw them, but I didn’t do anything to warn Janet.
In fact, I squealed with delight and clapped my hands like a three-year-old.
I’m a lousy deer watcher.
There was plenty of room between us and them, and Janet had the wherewithal to stop. Two were in the street, staring at us. A long pause before they ran to the other side of the road.
Janet said, “Wait. There are more.” And another doe came streaking across the road.
It was an incredible encounter. Their lives are held in a thin balance; hunting season begins soon, and along with avoiding hunters, they have to deal with drivers.
My inability as a deer watcher made me understand how ineffective I am with awareness when I’m warned of problems or danger.
I get distracted.
God has informed us that in this world we will have problems. Not an “if” situation; a definite “when”; our world is broken. I need to be mindful of what I’m allowing myself to get involved in. There is an enemy of our souls who would like nothing better than to destroy us.
He comes alongside us as we ask Him. To give us His strength and wisdom. To remind us we’re not alone. No matter how despairing the season we’re in.
Crying out for God brings better results than yelling “deer”.