Monday, April 5, 2010

Herding Cats

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need thy tender care;

In thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use thy folds prepare.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, thine we are.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, thine we are.

- Dorothy A. Thrupp, 1779-1847

I have to mow today. I saved the grass and all the little wildflowers until Easter so that we could have ample grass in which to hide eggs. The boys have enjoyed picking me “flowers” every day and we’ve had “fancy” dinners with little bowl of water filled with henbit, dandelions, and other unidentified blooming objects. But it’s over. It’s time. I have to mow.

Mowing is my thinking time. If I’ve got a problem, or I’m particularly aggravated about something, I’ll go mow. Something about chopping up grass and other items left in the yard and spinning around on my lawnmower gives me joy. Plus, the motor is too loud for me to hear anything over, so it’s just me and the voices in my head.

Ever notice how many songs and Bible verses there are that have to do with grass, pastures, or mowing?

Maybe I’m the only one who feels a kinship to sheep and other farm animals and can particularly identify with being led beside the still waters, and lying down in the green pastures.

The version of Psalm 23 that I learned began “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” and I think there may be two sides to the last part of that verse – I shall not want. Yes, I think it means for most of us that we lead a blessed life and God will give us everything we need. But sometimes I think it might mean “Hey, I don’t need a shepherd!  I've got this handled.”

I’ve walked to the library with my son’s first grade class for the past two Mondays. I liken it to herding cats. They are definitely unaware that they need supervision on the way. Twenty-four children going this way and that way, all with their own ideas about how the trip should go, and all with their own agenda about how they will get there. Some are preoccupied with picking flowers, others are playing I Spy. Some could not stay in line if their lives depended on it, and others are unhappy with who they got stuck with as their partner for the trip. A lot like life really, when you think about it.

I think sometimes herding me where I need to go is probably a lot like trying to get those kids to the library. I have my own opinions about where I’m going, how I’m going to get there, and what the trip is going to be like. Unfortunately, I’m not my own travel planner. God is. Sometimes life turns out very different from what we thought it would be. Sometimes things we think are important turn out not to be very important after all.

So, I hope you’ll be a good sheep this week and remember that your Shepherd is in control. In fact, if you’ve ever been told that you were “out of control” or feel that about some smaller people you may live with, realize it is the truth! We do not have control over all aspects of our lives, our children’s lives, or the lives of others. We just do the best we can with what we have at the time, and pray that our Shepherd will make his desired path known.

And watch out for me on my lawnmower! I may not have control!

“[Jesus said] I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14

1 comment:

  1. We must also remember God chooses us. Therefore he knows His sheep inside and outside, the question is will we make the choice to accept or reject His offer of Salvation and eternal life? Without His choice, we would have no choice!


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