Vol.XVII No.XII Pg.8
February 1981

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

One of our elders, bro. Stephenson, began a lesson on "How To Be Lost" by telling an experience of childhood. He said that when he took the family ". 22" and was about to venture into the "big woods" on his first squirrel hunt, an old man told him: "(1) Don't leave the creek bottom; (2) Don't cross any fences; and (3) Get home before dark." Friend, that's good advice, for lots of things.

I began roaming the woods at an early age, and can remember how vast and "unknown" a large stand of timber looks to a small boy, bravely (?) holding his rifle before him, and pushing through that first fringe of blackberry vines and sumac. The desire to move quietly forces you into dim trails through the leaves; the way you want to go is often blocked by downed timber or brush; and the barking of a distant squirrel can excite and lead you on without taking careful note of directions. Yes, it is easy for a boy to get lost.

"Get home before dark" doesn't need explanation; and not many young hunters want to spend the night in the woods anyway. But "don't cross any fences" is also important. Staying within the fence meant you knew whose farm or ranch you were on, and could walk the fence line back to the point of your entry. When "turned around" — we big hunters always knew where we were, we just didn't know where the gate was — I have walked through briar patches rather than lose sight of the fence.

And "don't leave the creek bottom, meant you could keep your general directions straight by the way the water ran. In my day creek water was also good for drinking. There is no telling how many little boys have come safely home from the big woods because they stayed within defined boundaries and kept their directions; or have been lost, sometimes in death, because they left the creek bottom and crossed the fence.

Must we spell it out for you? The "big woods" of life is an awesome place, but it must be entered and properly used to fulfill our purpose. Our heavenly Father has provided the boundaries and direction, and within them we can overcome life's problems and through grace come safely home.