009- God First, Family Second, Everything Else After That

“God, Family, Everything Else.”

For the average blue-collar hunter, Saturdays are times for us to take advantage of the opportunity and head for the woods. We have worked hard all week, Monday through Friday, and now it’s time to do what we love and spend some time trying to punch a tag. However, sometimes more important things show up in our lives that forces us to re-prioritize how we are going to spend that time. To explain this better, let me give you my current situation.

Here in Kentucky, its the second weekend of deer archery season and all week I have been looking forward to getting back in the tree stand on this Saturday morning. I already have all my supplies ready to go and I am ready to spend the morning sitting in the tree stand waiting for an opportunity to launch an arrow and put some free-range meat in the freezer. So Friday night rolls around and as I am tucking my kids into bed, my son begins to cry and me, being the dad, tries to brush it off because “he’s just tired and needs to go to sleep” and that’s why he’s upset.

“Daddy, can we snuggle tomorrow?” he says and my heart melts. Clearly, he misses me. He wants to spend time with me and here I am planning on leaving the house once again to go do something that “I want to do because I deserve it.”

“Do you want me to stay home tomorrow so we can snuggle and watch cartoons in the morning?” I asked him with tears in his eyes. Immediately his face lights up and nods his head and hugs me.

Fast forward to the next morning and here I am sitting on the couch with him and we are spending some quality time together. I got to make breakfast for my family and I feel refreshed because I got to fulfill my fatherly role today. The joy and fulfillment I received this morning was what my soul needed to continue on and be the best I can be for my family.

The weather on this Saturday morning was almost picture perfect for an early September hunt. The temperature is sitting in the mid-60’s and the wind is calm. I have a handful of deer patterned around the large, green soybean field I am hunting so I am confident that I could fill the freezer before lunch. Instead, I am here on the couch with my wife and kids. I am far more fulfilled here than anywhere else.

Next weekend will bring another Saturday morning and I plan to be back in the woods but for now, I am going to enjoy this. My late great uncle once told me when I was in high school to always put “God first, family second, and everything else after that.” Hunting falls in that last category… so, I’ll see the tree stand next weekend.

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