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Summary: Your life is an investment, make it count.

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Proverbs 12:27 KJV The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

I. THE HUNTER

-Much as the hunter that is described here in the Proverbs, the kill is made but it is never appreciated and therefore no benefit ever comes from it. The sad fact is that weekly there is an accumulation of things that rest directly outside the very door of our soul that are never capitalized on.

A. The American Sportsmen

-In our generation, there are new places of worship that have arisen. They are called Bass Pro Shops. They are huge edifices of hundreds of thousands of square feet and every thing that a fisher or hunter longs for can be in that building.

-The sportsman can spend hours on end searching through these places of worship.

-The hunter can find all sorts of things that will help him to knock down the “big one”:

• There are varied types of decoys like duck calls, deer calls, turkey friction calls, or turkey mouth calls, and all manner of decoys for turkeys, ducks, geese, and so on.

• Different ammunition made by Federal, Remington, and Hornady.

• One can find camping equipment like pack tents, canopy tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, repellants, and first aid kits.

• Cook stoves that are either propane or butane, single burner or dual burner, coffee makers, ready-to-eat meals that only need warming up, among many other things.

-The fisherman can find numerous things that will help him to be a better angler.

• There are spoons, jigs, spinner baits, jerk baits, lizards, grubs, jelly worms, trailers, craws, top-water, and creature baits.

• There are hundreds of rod and reel combinations such as the Walleye Angler Bottom Bouncer, Johnny Morris Signature series, and the Wally Marshall Crappie Thunderbuster.

• There are waders and rainwear and pricey accessories to go with the clothing.

• There are all sorts of trolling motors, outboard motors, propellers, and fuel tanks and accessories.

-So much energy can be spent on all of this, not to mention the money and time that is also required of the hunter or fisher. Then there must be careful planning as to when the hunt will begin.

• How early must he rise to get into the woods?

• How much attention must he spend looking at the weather?

B. The Hunter of Proverbs

-Summed up in this single little proverb is a stunning tale. The message is so compressed that it can be missed. Frankly this parable is not so much about hunting as it is about the tragedy of wasting our opportunities.

-The man is a hunter but he is lazy one. He rises early and climbs into the tree stand. He has planned out everything. He has carefully put on his camouflage clothes and has sprinkled the deer scent on him to cover the human odor. He is sure his gun is clean and that he has all of the ammunition. His scope has been carefully sighted so that there is very little margin of error.

-It is no time before in the pre-dawn mist that he notices a huge trophy buck beginning to drift toward him. His pulse quickens and almost imperceptibly he tenses up in anticipation. Closer and closer, on comes the big buck. He sights him in the scope and watches for 30 seconds and then carefully squeezes the trigger.

-The buck is dropped in his tracks and the hunter scrambles down from the tree stand. He drags the trophy back to his camp and leaves it lying outside his tent. It lies there for days on end. He never takes advantage of the kill. The stench rises from the waste until finally it rots away. It never benefits him or his family.

-If we are not careful our own lives can fall into this same pattern. Great things can come in our direction, the game can fall to the ground, but the good is never gained from it. No advantage comes from the opportunity. What has been taken in the hunt is never roasted for our benefit.

-I would be far less than truthful if I were to tell you that this had never happened in my own life. As the years press on, we begin to look back at all the doors of opportunity that have closed. In fact, one of the marks of maturity is to assess the lost opportunities that have come our way so that we can be attentive to the future ones that are presented to us.

C. Quotes on Wasted Opportunity

1. General

Charles Swindoll -- Time is short. Opportunity is knocking. Please answer it. The age-old aphorism remains true: “Four things come not back: the spoken word; the spent arrow; time past; the neglected opportunity.”

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