Tuesday, November 13, 2018

You Can't

Last week during a really early morning when I couldn’t sleep again like most nights….this sleepless night wasn’t because of nightmares, I was excited and I had a really dry hotel room. For starters, and to get it out of the way, what engineering feat would it be to make a hotel room just a little bit better than a dehydrator? I’m sure if you left some meat sprinkled with some seasoning on a rack in most hotel rooms you would have a good batch of jerky by the end of a show.  Oh, the “show”, that’s where the excitement comes into the story. I was setting up for an ice fishing vendor show that I was helping Peter and Andrew with and had the opportunity to teach a seminar with Peter on “Hunting Big Pike” when God jumped in and did what he does. But before we get to that we need to look at the reason why it was so exciting.

I grew up in a hard working North Dakota home where your work ethics and self sufficiency were cornerstones to an upbringing. Along with that, was financial responsibility and planning. All of these principles were rooted in scripture and taught more by example than anything. After getting hurt, one of the hard things for me, because of this mindset, was accepting help and accepting the fact that I still had any personal worth even though we had to claim insolvency and lost everything we had because I volunteered one day.  Going through this in life was really hard, but I and my family learned some additional Biblical principles that bring balance to what most of us are raised with in rural communities. Reliance, yep that’s right, reliance. It doesn’t take long to figure out how God has taken care of me and my family over the years and it never fails to amaze me at how He does it and when.

What’s frustrating and hardest for me to work though is all the people that make it a point to interject their knowledge and wisdom into our life without looking at the facts of what God is doing. The hardest is when we hear the line, “you can’t live your life like that, you need to take care of yourself.” Now, the last time I checked, I chose to volunteer and did not choose the financial situation I am in because of that choice to volunteer. However what I and my family learned is how when we rely on God, He never lets you down. What’s frustrating is when people tell us,“you can’t live your life like that” they are saying you have to stop relying on God. What’s sad is that they don’t even know what they are saying. 

Which gets to the excitement of the trip. This has been a better year for business but as many business people know that means you don’t always have the cash on hand when you would like it. Planning for a series of video shoots and ice fishing vendor shows one after another means you need to be frugal with your cash and pray that God will supply what you need and this last weekend He did. For starters, the old Missouri Secrets suburban is on it’s last set of tires and we needed a vehicle to pull the trailer to events. What do you know, God supplied both the money and the truck. I can tell you that interesting story another time. For a couple of weeks before the show, we talked as a family about how tight finances are and how we needed to think through every purchase and that if God wanted us to have anymore, He would supply it. On the night before the show, the boys were helping a friend set up his booth because that’s what friends do. As the boys walked out to the truck afterwards, they apologized to me for accepting the money our friend gave them for helping. As we got in the truck and were driving away, I reminded them that we were praying for God to supply our needs and that He just covered all of our meals for the trip with that money. Andrew said, “wow I never thought about it that way.” That’s what’s exciting about this trip, and maybe even this sleepless night, learning about reliance and hard work at the same time with my kids. It’s exciting to see how and when God answers prayers and how we are the answer to peoples’ prayers and don’t even know it. 

Before you tell someone “you can’t”, remember to get the entire story and let God do His thing.

Geremy Olson
Outdoorsman, Producer, Firefighter & Public Speaker