The lesson I share with you this month was written for a friend who is a waterfowl hunter and the owner of our black Lab’s parents and littermate Maxine. Adi’s father Max was a working retriever until his death five years ago. The picture to the right of Max sitting in the duck blind inspired this lesson. With my friend’s encouragement and permission, I share this lesson with you. May this glimpse of a hunter’s morning in the duck blind with Max challenge, encourage, and inspire you.
Lesson from a Lab: The Retrieve
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” -Psalm 90:17
Grab a cup of coffee and settle down on your favorite chair with Maxine. Close your eyes, relax, and think back to your time in the duck blind with Max.
The decoys are set. Your blind has a fresh cover of camouflage. The horizon is just beginning to take on the glow of dawn. As day breaks, you hear the faint sounds of ducks on the move. Your call gives an enticing invitation to come and settle on the water. The birds fly into sight. Max has his eyes trained on them. His body begins to quiver with anticipation. Shots ring out and two ducks drop into the water below. With the command “back” Max charges out of the blind and plunges into the cold water. His eyes focused on the spot the first bird dropped. He immediately swims out, grabs it gently in his mouth, turns, and heads back to shore. He drops the drake in your hand. The words “Good boy, Max” are spoken followed by the command to retrieve the second bird. He heads back to the water and plunges in again but is several yards off course. The current has carried the bird further to the right. You signal for his attention. He looks back to you. The motion of your arm helps him realign his course. He spots the second bird and with a few more strong, swift strokes he snatches it out of the water. He returns to drop the hen in your outstretched hand.
With the birds secured and Max dried off sitting by your side happy and tired, it’s time to consider the question
Which retrieve are you making right now?
Are you like Max on his first retrieve? Your eyes sighted on the job at hand, moving forward on course and confident in the work the Lord has sent you out to do. Are you ready to return to your Master with the job complete ready for your next set of instructions?
Or are you like Max on his second retrieve? Have you lost sight of the bird? Is the Holy Spirit signaling for your attention trying to realign your course? Will you follow His direction so that you can finish His Kingdom assignment?
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord ChristColossians 3:23
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Photographs used with permission of the owner