The Art of Snipe Hunting without the Snipe

Title: The Art of Snipe Hunting without the Snipe
Category: Devotion
Subject: Life, The Meaning of; Happiness
The Art of Snipe Hunting without the Snipe!
Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church
Cherryville, North Carolina

I guess you could call it a rite of passage, or maybe a cruel joke on trusting youngsters by their elders, but "Snipe Hunting" is something I have done and something that I have sent others to do. For the few uninformed readers, "Snipe Hunting" is a game played on younger youth by older youth during camping trips. The older youth tell the younger youth that for supper they must catch a bird called a "Snipe." For the record, and according to Webster's, such a bird actually exists. A snipe is a "bird with a long bill which lives in marshy places."

When I was growing up, I never used a dictionary to prove or disprove the existence of an animal that I was hunting. Looking back on it, it would have saved me a great deal of time and embarrassment if I had used a dictionary rather than just believing everything I was told. Anyway, the thrust of the game was to play a joke on youngsters by convincing persons younger and more gullible than yourself to go to a specific place in the woods, at night, and with a bag in hand, with instructions to utter in a shrill voice, "Snipe, Snipe, Snipe," until a Snipe appeared from its nest and jumped in the bag. I know this sounds like a simple plan, but trust me, it's the simple plans in life that work! This is the first part of the plan. The second part of the plan is to wait until the unsuspecting snipe hunters get out of sight, and then run away and leave the younger youth to find their way back to the campsite on their own, with or without a snipe.

I know this sounds like a cruel joke, but for some odd reason it seemed to be the thing to do when taking younger campers out into the woods for their first camping experience. The final part of the joke was for the person who had the joke played on him not to tell others about their embarrassment. Nobody wants to admit to looking for a bird that doesn't exit, and if they tattle on their friends, then they will not be able to play the same trick on somebody else on the next camping trip. I decided to tell my story to stop the insanity so no other child will have to experience the disappointment of snipe hunting!

When I ponder my misspent youth of searching for something that doesn''t exit (aka, the Snipe), I can''t help but wonder how many people today live under the same pretense of looking for something in this world that the world cannot provide. I believe most people are looking for the same thing, peace and satisfaction. The question is, "Where do you look for peace and satisfaction in this world?" If you are living for this world, then you will seek peace from the things in this world, such as success, fame, riches, etc. However, you will never find prolonged satisfaction in anything this world has to offer.

I have yet to meet one person who is terminally ill and regrets not making more money or owning more property in his or her lifetime. I have been around a lot of sick people who regret not serving Christ more faithfully or regret not sharing more love with others. In other words, many of them felt they had spent their time searching for something that didn''t exist. Make sure you spend your life honoring God. Psalm 34:10 tells us, "Even lions may get weak and hungry, but those who look to the Lord will have every good thing." God will never send us out to look for something that doesn''t exist. Remember, don't give in to sin. Think about it!