A pump shotgun has a distinctive sound when it loads a shell into the chamber. There is one chatter or rattling sound that clears the chamber, followed by another similar sound that pushes the next shell ready to fire. When you are a hunter, that sound is invigorating. Not so much if you feel like that gun could be pointed at you.
James and I escaped early from our jobs and left for a frequently visited bass-filled pond in the neighboring Arkansas hills. We let our wives know where we were going and climbed into his gas guzzling Ford Bronco, happy to leave our responsibilities behind. On our way we decided to drive up a dirt road we had passed several times before, just to see what was there. James thought it would bring us right back onto the main road we were traveling, but we wanted to see for ourselves. After about 20 minutes of travel and no sign of it turning toward the other road, we decided we might need some help with directions. This was a very desolate road with very few homes on it. Finding one was going to be a challenge.
We drove by this shack of a house and decided this was the one from which we needed help. We drove into the very rocky and uneven dirt driveway and parked the Bronco about 30 yards from the house. We turned off the truck, stepped out and started walking toward the house.
Now, it would be helpful for you to realize that if you know how large of guy I am, James was about 70 lbs heavier and 3 inches taller. I am sure that for some people, we might present ourselves as imposing figures.
Walking toward the house is when we heard that distinctive, pump action of the shot gun. It was in front of us and coming from the open door. We froze. We began to second guess our decision to walk up to a house, in the middle of backwoods Arkansas.
Do you ever wish that God would implant in you this kind of distinctive, attention getting, rattling sound that would go off each time you were about to make a very unwise move. It would be nice if the 16 year old, who was about to go against the parents request and go out with his questionable friends, could hear that sound. Or if just before you threw all your hard earned money down on that risky investment you could hear it. Or when you felt you had taken enough from your boss and it was time you gave him a piece of your mind, somewhere close by you could hear the rattle of the pump action shotgun would go off. Or just before you agree to marry that person, you might hear that distinctive shot gun sound.
It is the season when we are reminded of a wonderful verse, Isaiah 9:6, “A child has been born to us; God has given a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.” We have been given the greatest Counselor and if we listen closely to His Word and His leading, we would make much wiser decisions. James 1:5 tells us that if we pray for wisdom, God will give it to us. There might not be the distinctive sound of a shot gun ready to fire on me if I choose the wrong action, but it can have a very powerful influence… if I listen.
James and I cautiously walked back to our truck and the man yelled directions to us. We never really saw his face, but we remember the sound. It wasn’t the wisest move we could have made. I’ll never forget that sound. When I
really listen and am about to take a step in the wrong direction, I think I can still hear it. Sometimes God has to do that just to get my attention.