Last semester I was able to go on probably the most unique Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Visit I’ve ever conducted with a student…duck hunting. I enjoy hunting, but my experience has been limited to being out in the woods squirrel hunting or that one mishap adventure of dove hunting. This really though was my first “true” hunting experience. Personally, I was super excited when this student invited me on the duck hunting trip. Over the last several months he has been working hard on crafting his custom duck calls on our shop’s wood lathe and we’ve both been eager to see how well they work. The evolution of his skills has been fun to witness, but even more so, seeing him truly own and share his passion of duck hunting has gotten me excited.
So, there we were with his family and I in tow at 4:45am leaving their house for the shooting cabin on a body of water about an hour away. When we arrived we had about 30 minutes worth of setting up the decoys both on land and water. Then, we sat on that shooting deck till about 10:30am freezing in the frigid cold. Granted it was not a total loss, we did get to eat a pretty awesome breakfast in the cabin.
Yet, during that whole time, only ONE…yes ONE duck landed on the body of water and plenty of other waterfowl skirted around us like they knew what we were up too! Not going to lie here, but I felt like a load of bad luck. Just the weekend before my student shared this spot was teaming with waterfowl, yet this time there was zilch…nada…nothing. As we were packing up I thought I’d see my student upset or disappointed, and he was a little upset, but more so for his retrieving dog that didn’t get a chance to show off her skills. It was then he shared a powerful statement, “There will be more days Mr. Meals.” He went on to describe how his grandfather shared that same perspective with him each time they would come out in his youth and didn’t have a swell day of hunting. After a bad day or even after a stretch of bad days, they still came out, they still showed up.
This statement challenged me deeply: There will be more days… Do we really take this to heart? I know there have been countless times I’ve definitely not. I used to get that nagging sense I need to keep doing more and more, cramming my schedule till it was overflowing at the brim. I’m fortunate that I have made great strides in this area of my life. I’m also eager to make even further progress now that I’ve completed my Master’s Degree and will be cutting hours at my second job. I want to spend more time on my craft of writing and investing in others. I want to take time to invest in my spiritual growth, physical/mental health, and preparing for the next stage of my life. These desires of my heart cannot happen in a day, but will occur over an accumulation of many days.
Will I make mistakes? You bet. Will I fail? Absolutely. Will I persevere? There is no doubt. My faith is in the days to come, not rushing through life, but truly cherishing each moment I am afforded. Some days I will miss the mark, some days I may not accomplish everything on the list…but I MUST remember THERE WILL BE MORE DAYS! Our good work is never done, so let’s begin viewing that unending work as a lifetime of opportunities; not a series of endless burdens.
Therefore my friends, let us live in the trust and freedom that THERE WILL BE MORE DAYS! Thanks as always for reading and growing with me, it is humbling to share in this journey. Take care and take heart my friends!