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home : religion : inspirational reflections August 17, 2017

8/12/2017 12:15:00 AM
A Shot In The Dark

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC


This past spring my wife and I planted a garden, some Concord grape vines, muscadine vines, blueberry bushes, and a blackberry bush. I had 11 tomato vines and each of them was full of blooms, which led to green tomatoes! I also had blueberries and a few grapes, which surprised me since it was the first year I had planted them.

Just about every morning I would water my garden, fruit vines and bushes. I inspected everything and collected a few squash, peppers, and cucumbers. My biggest hope was on the tomatoes when they became ripe. There is something special about picking a fresh tomato off your own vine and eating it.



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One morning I went out to find all my tomatoes were gone. My tomatoes had gone from green to invisible! Who would steal my green tomatoes? I could only figure that a deer or some other type of varmint had waited until night time and had a feast at my expense. All I could do was dream about what could have been: tomato sandwiches, tomato sauce, and tomato soup was just a memory that never happened. I guess even with the best of plans, something can go wrong.

A few days had passed since the “Tomato Heist” and I had calmed down enough to realize it would be cheaper to buy some tomatoes at a market than to let my blood pressure get out of control with the thoughts of being laughed at by some of the local wildlife who had cleaned out my garden.

All was almost forgotten until I unexpectedly woke up at 4 a.m. and looked out my bedroom window. There was a varmint digging in my front yard. Could this be the same varmint that had eaten my tomatoes? Since I don’t hunt, the only weapon at my disposal is a pellet gun that I had purchased years ago to chase squirrels away from my birdfeeders. I hurriedly found the pellet rifle and eased myself out the side door, hoping to catch my prey by surprise. It was dark, and I was standing in my carport when I saw the varmint walk in my direction, and then it stopped. I took aim, and fired the Red Rider air rifle at my unknown target. Just to let you know, I thought the unidentified creature was a groundhog. I was wrong. I must have hit my target because I saw a tail rise in the air, the tail of a skunk! Friends, it must have been a one in a million shot, because that skunk did not fire back! He just walked across the street into the woods, probably wondering to himself, who got up at 4 a.m. to shoot him with a pellet.

What can be learned from this story? First, a shot in the dark is just that, a shot into the unknown. It is a guess, to a certain extent a gamble, but whatever it is, you are not sure of the results until the, “Tail is Told.” Second, a person should never guess at the important things in life. How you spend time and eternity should never be left to guess work.

1 John 5:13 says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” God does not want your salvation to be a, “Shot in the Dark,” but a knowledge that allows you to face whatever this life can toss your way with confidence that you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to you.

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!



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