On Being A Sheep
by Cathy Bryant, (c) 2008
I once accompanied my husband and youngest son to see the King Tut Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. Unprepared for the long line we were herded into, we found ourselves in a tent-like room with ropes snaking from the front to the back. Reluctantly, we joined the rest of the crowd in spending too much time walking back and forth between the ropes.
I don't know why, but anytime I'm in a similar situation (e.g., amusement park lines, checkout lines at stores during the Christmas rush), I always have this strange desire to bleat (Baaaah).
I've heard that sheep are stupid animals, blindly following the rest of the herd into dangerous territory. At other times they wander off from the flock, making them easy prey. They seem to need constant supervision and care.
The Bible tells us that: "...we are His people, the sheep of His pasture." (Psalm 100:3b, NIV)
We, too, have the tendency to blindly follow others into places and situations that are dangerous and costly. Think back to the last football game you were at when the crowd turned on the referees. "Mob mentality" is prevalent at sporting events. Or maybe you remember that hot stock everyone at the office was talking about. You know--the one that lost half its value the day after you bought it.
It's also very much a part of our nature to wander away from the rest of the flock. Sometimes we allow petty differences to keep us from fellowship with our fellow believers. We often forget when we distance ourselves from our brothers and sisters in Christ, we become an easy target for the enemy.
Though we like to think of ourselves as independent and self-sufficient, the truth is that we need someone watching over us all the time to make sure we stay on the right path.
I'm grateful I have a Shepherd who constantly watches, lovingly protects, gently guides, and abundantly provides.
"The LORD is my shepherd. I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names' sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalm 23, NIV)
A Texas gal since birth, Cathy lives in a century-old farmhouse with her husband and a phobia-ridden cat. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist and tells the story of a disillusioned widow's quest to find home. The book is available through Amazon.com. For more information, visit http://www.catbryant.com/