Wednesday, September 3, 2008
What is a Shepherd to do? A parable.
Imagine if you will for a moment. The shepherd wakes in the morning, dew has settled on everything about him. He shakes the moisture off the blanket that protected him from the elements during the night. Sleep was brief snatches of rest so as not to loose awareness of where the sheep were, or who or what may have tried to creep up in the night and take one unawares. Constantly on guard, the shepherd also had to watch for those who might wander. Night was really not a time to fear that, they were skittish at night and would not dare stray far when they were frightened. As a matter of fact, they huddled close during those times. He almost wished they were fearful more often, as it would be easier to keep up with them. Day breaking, he knew his work would be busy. You see, the sheep he was herding were of a new breed. Each one had his own goals and ideas about grazing. One would run to the other side of the meadow to graze, while her lamb would be left by the pool of water, alone, unprotected. Others would group together near the wolf’s den to simply watch. Oh they didn’t want to wander in they just wanted to see what was happening there. Oft times though, one would stray to near and find himself in the clutches of the wolf. The others would simply move away, saddened, but quickly would return to watch again. As a shepherd, he wandered over the meadow, continuously monitoring all the movements of the sheep. After all, it was his job to protect them. He was to dwell with them and take the oversight of them. Point them in the right direction. As a matter of fact, the Great Shepherd had left command that he even feed the flock, and protect them from the wolves. The problem was, none of the sheep cared for any of that. Until there was trouble. Then they were looking for the shepherd. One day, many grievous wolves had made their way into the flock. The shepherd heard the cry and rushed forward to protect the sheep, only to find out that some of the sheep had welcomed the wolves in as friends and even made them part of the family. Before long the sheep were even more scattered, and the shepherd exhausted, fell weary and collapsed from the strain and was overcome by a wolf himself. Recovering in the local hospital he said to his dear wife, “ I did all I could. The sheep would not listen. I warned them of the wolves, I warned them to stay close to the shepherd, I warned them about leaving their little ones unattended and being so busy that they would not have time to become good sheep, and hear my voice. I quit. It is all too sad for me. I cannot go on like this.” He resigned as the shepherd and began a new career. Feeling like it was the Great Shepherds will all along to desert the flock and leave them to some other poor unsuspecting shepherd.