Faith & Inspiration
By Charles Towne
The bear was angry.
A four-hundred-pound male, he charged me for the fourth time, finally ending up within ten feet of me. I knew that at this distance, if he decided to attack, he could be on me in less time than it takes to blink. He raged at me, popping his jaw, cussing me out in bear language; at least that is what I think he was doing. He stood sideways to me in order to make himself appear larger as he slapped the ground and popped his jaw again. All of his movements were intended to let me know that he was about the biggest, baddest bear in those parts, and I believed him.
I stood there with my arms raised over my head to appear larger as I talked to him in as calm a voice as I could muster. (I am here to attest to the fact that it is not easy to appear calm when faced with such a situation!) Finally, with a little more moaning, threatening me with mayhem all the while, he turned his back and walked away, to disappear into the thick underbrush that surrounded me. I could hear him as he circled me out there in the scrub, and suddenly… all was silent.
It was only then that I started breathing again.
Contrary to the popular myth, bears don’t growl, but they can sure let you know when they are ticked off. It was one of those extraordinary times in my life when I really felt alive. As a zoo director and breeder of big cats, as well as a wildlife photographer over the years, I have learned some things about myself, one of them being:
I have learned to face the danger.
In my early years I was a runner, but no longer. If I were to have turned my back and run away in the above situation, it would have invited attack, which just might not have been very good for my complexion, if you get my meaning.
When we are faced by big challenges, hard decisions – whether involving personal relationships, a large financial crisis, an issue involving your health, or anything important – it is always best to confront it head-on.
It is a fact that when we go before an all-powerful God in prayer we are in the presence of absolute power. In such a time, and in such a place, the infinite meets the finite. The bear, referenced above, could have killed me, but our friend, God, yearns to give us His friendship, and eternal life.
In times of great challenge, stand still my friend; don’t run. You are always in the presence of the living God. And unlike being with a fierce bear, with God, you are in the presence of fierce love. Deep, unending love that will be with you, and help you find a way through whatever you are facing.
An Outdoorsman’s Prayer
Dear Papa, Holy God, You are awesome in your power, merciful in your love, tender in your compassion, abundant in your grace, and generous in your mercy. How can it be that you love me with such an incredible love? Hold me close, wrap me in your love, embrace me and kiss away all of my hurts. You created me to be your forever friend and companion and for this, I love you, my heavenly Daddy. In Jesus’ wonderful name I ask it, and for your goodness I praise you, Amen
And make a difference, today.
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.