larry carlton clarke's picture

I would like to share a story with you. It is a TRUE story, and hopefully you can find a spiritual application for your life.

It was a cold January morning and I had decided to run to the post office in town. As I reached for the door handle of my truck I saw a deer harvesting tag given to each hunter who bags a deer during the season. There hanging on by a string was this tag and as I looked closer where the sex is to be punched out, in this case the punch was through “buck” but to my surprise where “buck” was to be, someone had marked through the B and pinned in “TR…!” which of course spelled out “TRUCK”, my truck had been tagged. As I looked over my shoulder and all around the neighborhood, no one seemed to be watching, to my relief! Who in the world would have played such a low down trick on a nice guy like me? Now let me take you back a few days so you can see the “rest of the story.

It was well into the deer-hunting season, I arrived at the campsite (hunting club) about five a.m. that morning. Many of the club members had arrived at camp the day before, so all were still fast asleep in their tents. I pulled up to the large field right beside the campsite, then I stopped my truck thinking I would just pull out my rifle from the back seat and load it on the tailgate, that way I would not disturb the sleeping hunters a few feet away. I soon realized I had no flashlight so I told myself, I would just step out on to the passenger side of the cab and lay my gun on the seat pointing away from the campsite and load it.

I began to place the bullets into the chamber of the leaver action Marlin .30 .30. I pushed the shells into the chamber, One, two, three, four, each bullet slipped into the gun smoothly. Then I had to place the last bullet into the chamber and the only way to do that with a leaver action rifle is to open the leaver, inject a bullet by bring it back down. Then, I placed the fifth bullet into the gun, and closed the leaver and held the hammer and pull the trigger very slowly and cautiously against my thumb to ease it back down, preventing it from striking the pin. As I placed my thumb on the hammer and pulled the trigger, my thumb slipped and all I can remember is one big “B-A-N-G,” the gun had fired, it was my mistake and it seemed like the ringing in my ears would never end. I assessed the damage and found the bullet had gone through the side panel right below the emergency break pedal and when I looked outside where the bullet exited there was one big whopper of a hole right under the words F-150! You could have put your fist through it!

By now the whole campsite was scrambling about to find out what had happen. The sound of the gun firing in the cab of the truck made a funny hollow sound. Many of the club members really weren’t sure what had taken place. THEN THE VOICES came…”Hay, what happen?”…”Who’s out there?” went the cries from the tents. I knew I had to be real “cool” about my big accident and I did want to be truthful, no matter how much it hurt my pride, so I said…”Hay guys, its Larry, everything is o.k. No ones hurt! Then the come back…”O. K., But WHAT HAPPENED?” Let me tell you folks, it was very hard for me to respond to that last question but I did. I said,”Well, Ohhh…I-I-I, Uhhh…I shot my truck!” After a long pause, which seemed forever we get my wonderful title to this article from those in the camp…”YOU SHOT WHAT?”

Well that’s the story and it could have been much worse, but there is a greater moral and spiritual application that maybe you can take with you so it will not be a total waste of your time tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, kids of all ages, when I was but a small lad I was raised and taught to fish and hunt. My teachers were knowledgeable people like my grandfather, my daddy, and many assortments of uncles and cousins. They taught me SAFTY…yes always be safe, near water, and with a firearm when hunting in the great outdoors. The lesson I took with me is this, never think you know it all, yes I was trained from a child to know and do what is right but I still made a mistake. So folks when you think you know it all, no matter if its at work, play, or even Bible study (RELIGION) or maybe you are asked for some good advise along those lines…PLEASE, PLEASE remember that even trained professionals do occasionally make errors in judgment! You may be a church leader, read Acts 20:28-29 they are to take heed concerning the responsibility they have…sometimes leaders make mistakes too. You may be a person who is striving to learn God’s will, that’s wonderful. Open your Bibles and build upon the scriptures, not what we think it says or what someone else said…but what we read (see 1 Cor.3: 10, 11), also (Luke 11:28) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. We have so much liberty afforded us by the scriptures but let us all heed the warning in 1 Cor.8: 9, and do not abuse those freedoms.

I was taught for years in the sport of hunting, but the time came in my life and it will probably come again that I was not as careful as I should have been, I thought I was doing the right thing but I wasn’t (Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death.) When I made the error I thought I was being cautious, but not so! We all need to be very careful especially in our spiritual lives…humility is one other great quality I continue to work toward Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you. I hope you will be safe in all of these things. We all need caution and humility along life’s way, don’t you agree? Handling a weapon incorrectly is dangerous, God’s weapon (Eph. 6:17) is like a sword and the same is true!

Let us all, Give diligence to present ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth, (2 Tim 2:15). So my conclusion is that after I suffered through the embarrassment and shame of my mistake, I surely do not want to be ashamed handling God’s word in the wrong fashion. It could be much, much more devastating than any man made weapon!

I did mention a few minutes ago that since I am human, I may make another mistake in the same fashion or close to it any way. One week later I drove the same truck I shot, into the Flint River. We can do the same thing with all our many weaknesses can’t we?
1Th 5:14 And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be longsuffering toward all. This applies to not only spiritural things, but I believe this also applies to our every day walk with our neighbours.

Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: 14 and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness

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Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 11/08/2007 - 12:02pm.

Great story and even greater truths. I get an "A" for the homework part (looking up). Hopefuly, I'll pass the grade on the "exercise of my freedom not becoming a stumbling block to the weak" part.

Good Day


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


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