“There is no way I can shoot 1,000 shotgun shells in a day,” I told my husband, as we were planning our recent vacation to Argentina. 

Shooting that many shells sounded painful, and I did not think I was that interested in trying to shoot that many birds.

Going dove hunting in Argentina was on my husband’s bucket list and I was happy to go and practice my shooting. We had planned to go with friends; however, they had to cancel and gave us their trip. It was an incredible blessing, and I’m always up for an adventure and a fun adventure with Stephen.

Dove are very prolific in Argentina, because they have three hatches a year, and shooting 1,000 shells a day is not uncommon. In Texas, we only have one hatch a year, and I have only been hunting six seasons. I can count on two hands the times I have gotten my limit of 15 birds, so shooting 1,000 shells sounded impossible to me.

I was the only woman at our lodge, and I was determined to hold my own. The first day we went out, I was in awe of the number of birds and opportunities to shoot.

Much to my amazement, that morning, I shot 500 shells and hit 110 birds! 

Somehow, after lunch and a siesta, I managed to hit more birds that afternoon, totaling 219 birds. 

Stephen hit 1,011 of 1,425 shells. It was a fun-filled day.

Thankfully, we fished a few days before we hunted again. We caught golden dorado and many other fish I had never seen. You never knew what you were going to pull out of the water, and catching golden dorado was challenging, as they are an acrobatic fish. 

The second day we hunted, there were 20-mile-per-hour winds, and it was much harder to hit the birds. They were zipping by very fast. I was proud of the 170 birds I hit and, much to my amazement, shot 1,000 shells again. 

That day was very difficult and a lot of fun. The beauty of the land was captivating, and the breeze felt good.  

The last day, I hit my stride and shot 1,500 shells and got 531 birds! I could not believe I shot that many times, much less could hit that many. 

Stephen, on the other hand, broke the lodge record, shooting 1,500 shells and hitting 1,135. 

Needless to say, you could find me in the hot tub that evening. 

As I pondered the days of hunting, I felt like God said, “You are much more capable than you think.” 

I thought of how I underestimated myself, doubted and never saw myself doing what I did. Then I began to think of that in spiritual terms. I have felt God calling me to step out in some new things, and yet I have struggled and doubted at times.

God has a call on each of our lives. There are things He wants all of us to do for the Kingdom of God, people to touch, pray for, encourage, love, speak to and bless. 

How many times do we miss it because we do not think we are capable?

Ephesians 4:1-3 shows us that God has work for each of us. It states, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (NIV)

Your calling will look different from mine, however, each of our calling has equal value in God’s kingdom work. The key is that we seek to know God and hear what He has for each of us and ask Him to show us how He sees us. 

I think the big key for each of us, is to simply show up and say “yes Lord.” 

Just like in Argentina, I simply had to show up prepared for the day ahead and trust Him for the strength and everything that I needed. What is God calling you to that you do not think you are capable of? 

I know God is calling me to some things for His kingdom that I do not feel I can do in my own strength. I know He wants to expand my territory, and yet I wonder if I can do that. 

Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (NKJV) 

You and I are much more capable than we think. Many have gone before us that have failed numerous times, only to later succeed and make a big difference. Abe Lincoln tried many times at many things, before he became a great president and set a whole group of people free. He simply kept showing up and overcoming the adversity that was before him.

I saw my mom and dad, in the last few years and months of their lives, touch countless caregivers, Hospice workers and those that provided home health care. They bloomed right where they were planted in their home. 

Perhaps you are sitting in prison, wondering what you can do for God, He has a purpose for your life and a calling. It might be the person in the cell beside you.

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Never underestimate your ability. 

I want to encourage you to simply show up and say “yes” to a God that loves you dearly and sees your potential. You do not have to be perfect for Him to use you. The Bible is full of people that God used, who had made mistakes.

I challenge you, just like I feel He is challenging me, to show up and be a willing vessel for Him to use. God is our strength and source of life, and that life is an abundant life.

Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Beginning September 2019, at 6:30 p.m., she will lead a Bible study at The Kroc Center called, The Gathering: Bringing God into Everyday Life. You can register for the event and reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com.

 

(2) comments

Conservative

I am sorry Ms. Maxwell, but killing +3000 birds for pleasure sounds like you have a problem. If you could, would you and hubby have killed 20,000 or maybe 50,000? Does more kills = more pleasure, and do you think this story is a suitable teaching moment to help the good people of Kerrville understand God's workings ? Maybe you are not ready to be teaching others about God. I suggest you take a break from writing and teaching, seek some counseling and work on your own internal issues.

Conservative

After some reflection, I can say with absolute certainty that this is one of the most ridiculous pieces I have read in my entire life. The notion that God steps into ones life so that they can increase the killing for pleasure (not hunting) into the thousands of animals is completely wrong and shows writer knows nothing about hunting and has a distorted view of a higher power. I am a hunter. I enjoy hunting. Hunting is not about having a killing orgy. The assertion that this misguided killing spree can be used as a teaching example of God's work is disgusting.

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