Bear Hunt: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Transformation

Welcome to another episode of the Uncommon Wealth podcast. Today, we have a very special guest, Brad Moeckley, who recently embarked on a life-changing journey that pushed him out of his comfort zone and led to a profound transformation. In this thought-provoking article, we will delve into Brad’s experience and explore the themes of self-discovery, resilience, and the power of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone.

Introduction: Seeking Change and Finding Purpose

In life, it is easy to fall into a routine and become complacent. We often find ourselves going through the motions, feeling disconnected and unfulfilled. This was the case for Brad Moeckley, a farmer who had spent his entire life in rural Iowa. As the world around him changed and he felt increasingly isolated, Brad began to question his purpose and his relationship with God. Seeking a radical change, he embarked on a bear hunt in Alaska, a journey that would push him to his limits and force him to confront his fears and doubts.

Embracing Discomfort: The Bear Hunt

Brad’s decision to go on a bear hunt was not a typical choice for someone who had never been a hunter before. But he felt a deep need to challenge himself and step outside of his comfort zone. He wanted to find solitude and have a one-on-one conversation with God, away from the distractions of everyday life. The bear hunt represented an opportunity for self-discovery and a chance to reconnect with his faith.

According to Brad, “I give thanks to God for allowing me to do that. And it was life changing for me. Here we are today, and I’m back here back at home, and I view people differently.”

The Power of Connection: Ralph, the Guide

One of the most significant aspects of Brad’s journey was his encounter with Ralph, his guide for the bear hunt. Despite their differences in beliefs, Brad and Ralph formed a deep connection and developed a profound friendship. Ralph’s story of forgiveness and redemption touched Brad’s heart and challenged his own preconceived notions. Through their shared experiences and conversations, Brad learned the importance of empathy, understanding, and the power of human connection.

Brad reflects on his experience with Ralph, saying, “God is God. God doesn’t change. He’s the same yesterday as today as he is tomorrow. But he certainly opened my eyes, and I view God differently, that he is who he is… He opened my eyes in ways it’s very almost sitting in front of a mic and trying to put into words about who God is, how faithful he is, and how good God is. It’s like, oh, what a breath of fresh air.”

The Challenges of the Journey: Weather and Terrain

The bear hunt was not without its challenges. The weather in Alaska was deplorable, with constant rain and wet conditions. Brad and Ralph had to navigate through difficult terrain, including marshy areas and treacherous river crossings. The physical demands of the journey pushed Brad to his limits, testing his strength and resilience. However, he persevered, determined to overcome the obstacles and find the answers he was seeking.

Brad describes the physical toll of the journey, saying, “That last journey, it was about as physically taxing. And I mean, I was a wrestler. I played football. That’s exactly what I was going to say… But physically taxing, it was some of the toughest stuff I’ve been through in my life.”

The Hunt: A Test of Patience and Perseverance

The actual hunt for the bear proved to be a test of patience and perseverance. Brad and Ralph spent hours glassing and searching for bears, often coming up empty-handed. The bears were elusive, and the wet weather had disrupted their usual patterns. But Brad’s determination and Ralph’s expertise kept them going. They continued to push forward, never losing hope that they would eventually find their quarry.

After days of searching, Brad and Ralph finally spotted a bear in the distance. Brad recalls the moment, saying, “The excitement and anticipation were palpable as they prepared to take the shot. Brad’s hands trembled as he aimed his gun, and with Ralph’s guidance, he fired. The bear fell, and a sense of accomplishment washed over them. They had succeeded in their mission, and the weight of the moment was not lost on either of them.”

Reflections on the Journey: Lessons Learned

As Brad reflected on his bear hunt, he realized that it was about much more than just hunting. It was a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and faith. He learned the importance of stepping outside of his comfort zone and embracing discomfort in order to grow and find purpose. The challenges he faced, both physically and emotionally, pushed him to his limits and forced him to confront his fears and doubts. Through his connection with Ralph, he discovered the power of empathy and understanding, and the profound impact that human connection can have on our lives.

Brad shares his newfound perspective, saying, “I view people differently… God opened my eyes in ways in which I didn’t think was possible. It was just a thrill of a lifetime. So thankful to God for the opportunity.”

Conclusion: A New Perspective and a Bright Future

Brad’s bear hunt was a transformative experience that challenged him in ways he never thought possible. It forced him to confront his own limitations and question his beliefs. Through the hardships and triumphs of the journey, he discovered a new perspective on life and a renewed sense of purpose. The lessons he learned will stay with him forever, and he is excited to apply them to his everyday life. Brad’s story is a testament to the power of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and embracing the unknown. It is a reminder that true growth and transformation can only occur when we are willing to take risks and challenge ourselves. As Brad continues his journey, he looks forward to the future with optimism and a newfound sense of purpose.

In the words of Brad, “To have yourself open before God and allow God to work through you… what an opportunity to relate and to live your life out until we’re in heaven with… oh, what a privilege it was to be with.”