The other day I made one of my regular pilgrimages out to the range, God’s beauty of nature nestled in the woods by a lake. It was late in the afternoon and I wondered what I could do before sundown. But with an afternoon this beautiful, I simply couldn’t pass up this brief opportunity.
So with my gear in hand, my driver and I headed down a path through the woods. Soon I found myself out on the open range looking square into the eyes of two beautiful deer. I quietly set my gear down and very slowly sat on a wooden leaning rail, carefully observing the deer. They watched me for a few moments, and then continued grazing. They kept picking at the short grass, satisfying themselves.
I looked at my driver, leaning against the rail, and asked, “Do you think we can hit them from here?” No response. I mean, it wasn’t like I was going to kill the deer. I decided not to shoot because they are only about 150 yards out and I’m pretty accurate at that distance. I’ll just watch for now.
Sitting in silence studying the deer, I realized how unaware they are of the nearby danger. Anyone could easily harm them, yet they’re living their lives as God made them, like deer have done since time began. Their world appears one way to them, yet the reality is completely different. Encroachments around them have reduced and changed their habitat.
But for a few moments, it was as if the modern world disappeared and I experienced the peaceful, serene life of the two deer on the range. A Psalm came to mind, “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1 NLT). In my heart I thought, “Oh, to have peace like this in a world filled with the clanging cacophony of cluttered chaos.”
Just then, the Lord spoke to my heart and replied, “Son, I have always had a remnant of peace in My kingdom, and people who live in My peace that passes understanding. This peace I give to you and all my children. Fix your thoughts on me. Meditate on my word, soak in my presence, and the peace you seek, the peace you need, shall be yours. I enable my people to rest and breathe the peaceful air of heaven, as they trust in Me and place their cares at My feet. Though you are moving quickly through a world of strife, I will make a place for you where peace exists from the Ancient of Days.”
Lost in these thoughts and revelations, I didn’t notice that the deer had moved further away. Naturally my driver didn’t warn me, so I said, “Let’s give it a fair shot.” Preparing for my first shot, I looked down the shaft, which was painted gun barrel blue, and took careful aim. The sound of the shot cracked and echoed across the range and bounced off the surrounding woods.
Although my shot rang straight and sure, the deer were more than 250 yards away by now, and in no danger from me. Suddenly I heard the sound of a small vehicle behind me and wondered if the marshal was coming to advise me to leave, as it was getting dark. It wasn’t him so I took a few more shots, while the deer pranced safely into the distant woods.
Breathing in the pure fragrance of nature, I stood there pondering the words of the Lord as His peace flooded my soul. Things aren’t always as they appear. We can have peace in the midst of a restless and chaotic culture.
Feeling peaceful and rejuvenated by the Lord, I decided to leave. So I carefully cleaned my driver with a towel…placed it in my golf bag…and left the driving range for the putting green.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you” Isaiah 26:3 NLT