Love in the Wild

Rocky Mountain Hunting

Pictured: Isaiah tucked into some trees. Without camo orange, you'd probably miss him.

I have to confess something. I’d rather stay up in my living room than take the dog for a walk. I would rather stay home than go hunting. I’d rather sit in my office chair than take a jog around our two-mile block.

But to do what I would “rather” do is a temptation that I regularly resist. Some days it’s an all-out fight. I must force myself from my recliner, my home, my office. I make the conscientious effort to run to the wild periodically through my life.

“Wild.” Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? I’ve known crazy hunters in my time, and I don’t really enjoy their company. Gun enthusiasts who want to sit at a firing range all day popping their handguns. I just don’t relate. Joggers can be obsessive, and those who are often don’t look like the healthiest people, either.

Yet, I jog. I hunt. I own several rifles. I’m talking “wild,” not “crazy.” I love the wild, and I never regret a job, a hunt or a daily walk in the wild.

Do you feel bogged down by your job, sick and tired of the cubicle life, or searching for something (not sure what, just something)? It may very well be that you need to get out. I’m not saying run a marathon or go on an African safari. Just get out.

I need it. My business keeps me busy, but I intentionally have disciplines to keep my business life from consuming me. And these “wild” times are extended throughout my year, even my entire life. Here’s how.

1. My daily reminder.

I take a walk every day to my creek. It’s a steep walk, not something our littlest children can do, but it’s perfect for a 41 year old office worker. I prefer the early morning before the sun pops up over the horizon. I often see heron, deer, mallards and other water foul, killdeer and various types of songbirds. Sometimes I spook a hardworking beaver, and one time I saw a bear.

I prefer the sunrise, others may prefer the sunset. Perhaps an after-lunch walk. It doesn’t really matter when it is. It could be a walk in the park in a busy inner city. The point is this: a reminder that things are wild, unpredictable, dangerous. And in this is beauty and wonder. We all need to be reminded of God’s majesty, something that is much tougher to do within our cubicle lives. I strongly suggest to every man to find his daily reminder.

2. My physical need.

You know my wife, Wendy. She loves exercise. If I could figure out a way to stay in shape without exercise, I’d take it. Oh, I enjoy being in shape. I just don’t like getting into shape.

Some men have the privilege of working in their jobs. I “work” in the office, and the office chair inevitably becomes uncomfortable. The walk down to the creek (slow, reflective, sipping coffee by the creek) is nice, but it just doesn’t cut it. I need to exercise, work up a sweat, get into a groove that keeps my body healthy and young. We all need to develop a routine that keeps us in shape.

Our block is exactly two miles around. If I can keep a steady jog around our block, I’m doing pretty good. Adding the next big block adds a third mile. I’ve plotted a 4th and 5th mile, too, and once I can get to five miles straight, I figure I am healthy enough to go elk hunting in the Colorado mountains.

3. My yearly outing.

We’re a hunting family, deer and elk specifically. I write a lot about it. I wouldn’t call myself an “avid” hunter, though, because I only go once or twice a year. I know some who can’t wait to get out every weekend, but that’s not me. I have to rev myself up to go hunting. My desire isn’t to be outdoors. Like I said, I have to fight the temptation to stay put.

Several years ago I made the conscious decision to get out every year to hunt. This has the 100% support of Wendy. She practically kicks me out of the house for it. She knows I need the encouragement, the push.

When the kids were younger, I would go alone or with friends. I have a houseful a teens now. I’ve invested in a nice outfitter’s tent, camping gear, high-powered rifles, etc. to make it a family activity.

Want to hear something that may surprise you? I’ll be elk hunting next month for a 5-day excursion into the Rocky Mountains. If I don’t see an elk, I’ll be perfectly fine with that. In fact, most years I don’t. Just being in the wild, removed from the sterilized world and into the natural one, is reason enough for the trip.

Does this resonate with you? I bet you it does. I’d like to hear your thoughts about “Love in the Wild.” Post them below.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.