Around 10 years ago, I had a friend tell me about how good the turkey hunting was on their family farm in Estill, South Carolina. He had seen many gobblers on his previous visits and knew there was a great opportunity to get one. He could see my excitement as he told me stories of their past hunts. When I told him I had hunted many animals but not turkeys, he asked me if I’d like to go down on their next trip. “Absolutely” was my answer, but I reiterated I did not know how to call them in. Without hesitation, he offered to take me and be on the callbox.
In a few short weeks, we entered the farm, put out a crow call and heard a gobbler near a small food plot. We moved in and took a seat in a timber area beside the food plot. It was a hot hunt as temperatures reached the high 80’s with high humidity. The mosquitoes were out in full force, but thankfully, we had our Thermacells with us. My friend hit the call box and within fifteen minutes, I caught the gobbler coming toward us. My hands were shaking from the excitement and trying to hold still was work. As he moved right in front of me, he let out that long-neck gobble. Bam! I shot and could immediately tell I wounded him but didn’t knock him dead. He took off running, and we jumped up running right behind him. He moved into the edge of the woods and gave me a clear shot to finish him off. Again, I shot, but this time, he was out.
So many of us have that “first” vividly in our minds. I can remember my first bass, quail hunt, dove shoot and so on. Those memories just stand out. One aspect of these memories that don’t fade are the ones we shared that moment with.
In this turkey hunt, my friend Paul served me. He offered me an invitation, drove me to their family farm, called the turkey and help me dress it for proper mounting. Paul was serving my interest first. Of course, he got a rush in being the guide for the day. He loves the outdoors, loves turkey hunting and most of all, cared enough for me to take me to his favorite spot. Serving each other, especially with memories like a turkey hunt, is a gift we all are capable of giving.
We all have limited time and limited “things” to offer a fellow brother, but when we make time, we are showing this person who comes first. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others…” Note that Peter says “whatever gift.” This implies we all have one or more gifts to offer. My friend took his gift (knowing how to hunt and his family property) and served me. Paul went out of his way to be sure this hunt would stand out in my mind forever.
Each of us has a gift to share. Be on the lookout for a person in need of your gift and watch what happens when you share it. Most likely, you’ll be etched in their memory bank for the rest of their life and be a part of their story every time it is told. Be a Paul to someone this season, especially a youth who has never experienced an outdoor experience like turkey hunting. He’ll be hooked for life with a memory of you in it.