Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church

Bad Day? – by Pastor David Echelbarger

March 8th, 2017 by Pastor David Echelbarger

I was looking through my computer notes and came across something I wrote and sent to someone many years ago.

The note described the darkest day I remember bird hunting with my first dog Tucker – I still think of the place described below.  In fact, I think about it twice a week every time in my Pilates class I do an exercise called “Offering.”  You see, I had named the covert (a place you hunt), “Offering” because there was a large altar like rock, with another rock resembling an offering plate on top of it.

Below is what I wrote to my bad day, but was it truly a bad day?  Everything in the end worked out fine.  So many things that we think about as bad, have a way of working out in the end.  Yet we still think of them as bad.  If we remember the “fine” parts we will have our spirits lifted like a cork that pulls us to the surface, which is preferable to sinking.

How many bad days, really aren’t.  Just a thought for Lent.  Following is what I wrote back in the early 1990’s.


Today I was hunting grouse in a mixed hardwood, aspen, and conifer woods.  I had walked in with my setter on a small grass path and headed to the north.  After a walk of a about a mile I didn’t realize how close I was to the main gravel road that lead into the covert I was hunting.  My dog was working about 80 yards away with a beeper collar on.  I whistled for him to come (I use a double blast whistle as the signal), and a moment later, from the direction of the road, I heard a double whistle blast.  My dog was out of sight and closer to the road than me.  It took a few minutes to figure out what was happening and for a moment I thought it might be an echo.  I whistled again and started walking toward him.  The whistle answered and then it was followed by another double whistle.  No echo.  I concluded someone heard his beeper and was trying to get him to come to the road.  He was obviously confused.  So I used a long sharp blast to whoa him. (Stop him in his tracks).   When I got to him and I could hear a truck running about fifty yards away.  I shut off his collar and moved away from the road and heard the truck drive off.  My conclusion is someone was trying to lure my dog.  I then drove to another covert and an hour later my dog got caught in a leg hold coyote trap set along a well-traveled bird hunting path.  Great day.  (Sarcasm).  Fortunately x-rays showed his leg was not injured.

All the best,

Dave Echelbarger

So the “great day” was in fact great when you think about it.  I did not have my dog dognapped and the trap did not hurt his leg.  It was in fact, I great day considering what might have happened.

The lesson here is: Search for Perspective.  This is a necessary spiritual discipline.

Pastor Dave

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