BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS — Outdoor lessons make for great family memories

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The older that I get, the more time I spend reflecting on past adventures. I can honestly say that I have been blessed to have family members who took time to introduce me to all kinds of fishing, hunting and outdoor activities. Even today, all these years later, I still remember the lessons and my loved ones who taught them to me. The fact that they took the time to pay it forward and share these experiences with me truly helped shape me into who I am today. Overtime I have discovered that these lessons apply not only to hunting and fishing, but to life as well.
Squirrel hunting with my great grandmother is a favorite memory of mine. I mean, honestly, who can say that they squirrel hunted with their “Mimi”? My great grandmother was a great fisherman as well as hunter. As a young boy, I had young hunter methods. I liked to walk through the woods and try to sneak up on the squirrels. She had learned through years in the woods that there was a more effective way. She had a different method.
I remember her wearing an old-school camouflage hat, camo pants and a camo vest that had a big pouch in the back, where she would put the squirrels after she shot them. When she hunted, she simply sat on the ground next to an oak tree, hid herself, and got real still.

Before long, the squirrels would come out from hiding and when they did, she raised her 12 gauge Browning shotgun with a 30 inch barrel and let them have it. She would tell me that no matter how tall the pine tree was, her old browning would reach out and get them. At the end of the day, she always had more squirrels than I did. She taught me that sitting still and being patient was often more productive than my run and gun method of chasing them from tree to tree.
As the years went by and I began to grow from a boy to a man, I realized that the same principle could be applied to life. Instead of running through life, chasing fantasies, if I simply take the time to “be still” and know that God is God, He loves me and has a purpose for my life, I can slow down and focus on Him. When I do this and seek His Kingdom first, He gives me the very things that I need without me wearing myself out to chase them and be less successful. The lesson that my “Mimi” taught me on that squirrel hunt over 35 years ago is still helping me today! I learned to slow down, be patient, and wait. Somehow God has a way of working things out in the end.


Brian Johnson is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of and writes about outdoors for Port Arthur Newsmedia.