23 ANOTHER ‘SHEPHERD’ THOUGHT

STILL STUDYING PSALM 23

 

Did you ever hear the story of  Archimedes?*  I don’t recall the details, but I believe he was the Greek guy who discovered the principle of displacement (whatever that means.).  It has something to do with buoyancy (whatever that means!).  When he visited the public baths and got into the tub, the density of his body displaced an equal amount of water and the tub must have overflowed.  Legend has it that he got so excited, he jumped out of the bath and ran outside (Before even getting dressed!  (We crazy Americans are not the ones who invented the “streaking” fad.).  And ran through the streets of the ancient city shouting “Eureka!”   “I’ve found it.” Admittedly, he’d stumbled on a great, useful scientific principle.  But can you imagine anyone getting that carried away with something few people even understand. 

Here on the site we’ve just been talking and thinking about words.  Mere words.  And ideas. But words have meaning.  Ideas have consequences.  We’ve discovered a couple of “nuggets” so far.  You own them now.  They’re yours.  Cherish them.  They will increase in value.  Keep them in your heart and use them as often as necessary.  It’s o.k., too, to get excited when you discover something important and beautiful.  Just don’t “lose your cool!”

One of those “words” is Shepherd.  We aren’t going to hurry past this idea, because it is so meaningful.  We’ll definitely be richer if we consider this concept and incorporate it in our lives.

Have you noticed how Jesus often made comparisons?  He often used simple words and ideas to convey profound meaning.  He’d take things with which we were very familiar and then use them to open our minds to beautiful, profound ideas we may never have been able to see so clearly.  He referred to Himself as ‘Bread,” “Water,’ ‘Light,” and  “Shepherd” and called His followers His “friends,” His “sheep.”

He was so familiar with the land in which He lived.  He knew and understood the people, how they lived, and how important some things were to them.  He also KNEW they’d understand what He meant.

In order to really appreciate something, I need to think about it and understand its meaning and importance.  I’ve never raised sheep, so I have to switch gears in my mind completely to see the point(s) David and, later, Jesus, were trying to illustrate.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t even begin to know how to care for them.

I don’t know much about sheep.  That is a classic understarment!  But, if Jesus and David thought the concept was important and appropriate, it seems worth my time to think carefully about why they felt that way.  The Shepherd-sheep idea seems to address both the relationship that exists between them and the role I play in this simple scenario.

It seems to me that one of the immediate observations you could make is the closeness that exists between the Shepherd and the sheep and the tenderness with which the sheep is treated.  A good Shepherd knows His sheep.  They are his main assignment.  He’s willing to risk his life for them. They know Him and come when they hear Him.  They were important to him.  If one got lost (as they often did), the Shepherd would go looking for it.  No matter what the danger, the Shepherd would search for his lost sheep, until He found it.

While considering this analogy I couldn’t help considering my own affection for my pets and for little new-born babies, ducks, or “chickies,” etc.   While I know the affection I have for my litltle handicapped Westy is nowhere close to the love the Shepherd has for His sheep, I can begin to get the point.  He loves me.  Do you see what great lessons He taught us, using such a simple analogy?  He used something even my simple mind can grasp to make me start contemplating a love that is greater than anything I can begin to imagine.

When I “strayed away from the fold,” He was looking for me.  And never gave up His search.

We can talk all we wish about our “searching for God.”  But in truth, my experience was that I was running from him.  Avoiding Him.  It was He who did the searching.  It was He who waited patiently for my rebellion to run its course and welcomed me when I finally came to my senses and “came home.”

Even though sometimes I’ve acted like a billy goat in sheep’s clothing, The Good Shepherd knows who I am and how badly I need Him.

                                       Sincerely, a servant, donkimrey                                                                                                        

(*I’m not sure whether it was Archimedes or Euclid.  Or some other ancient wise one.  And I certainly don’t understand the importance and applications of the principles having to do with buoyancy.  Fortunately, shipbuilders do and others who need to know!!  And you should know it before you put too much water in the bathtub!!).

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One response to “23 ANOTHER ‘SHEPHERD’ THOUGHT

  1. When I began mediating on this passage, I found that I had to become “restored” and resting in ‘green pasture’ to even begin. The exposure to this Psalm over my lifetime revealed to me that what I thought about it has been teachings of others – so a bath was needed to scrub out the bias and prejudice within – which proved to me the quiet waters. So, then the pencil and paper came out and I found that I placed three names at the top of the blank page, first thing: defining those three names — Lord — Shepherd — Sheep –What is the Hebrew names used by David when he penned this poetic word picture of all sanity we all so desperately seek – to be whole and in peace? So, I uncovered the name ‘YAHWEH ROI’ The one who watches over me day and night – meeting all my needs — protecting me from all harm — taking me to the best of the best for my satisfaction- top of the line baby- leading me the entire way in safety — So, what does the ‘Shepherd’ entail? Well, wealth is associated with this name – so from the riches of my Shepherd, my Lord provides — One of the most amazing things I learn in this is that, according to Jesus (John 10:3), He knows my name and touches me each day — Now, taking in consideration I am an ‘ewe’ and to live a healthly life, I need physical touches- so this promise sinks deep within because my husband abandoned me last June and I miss that hubby touch and hug each day tremendously — So, not only is the Lord my Shepherd, he is my husband — and that is exactly what the first couple of lines of this psalm is stating – No matter where we are, He has us covered – and our needs met — beyond what we even can imagine they are — He meets needs we don[t know we have yet — and that is a Good Shepherd.

    If I close my eyes and focus on what it feels like to be in the green pastures (notice the plural of that word) and beside quiet waters (plural again) and restoration is flowing– what do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I feel? Why would anyone want to leave this place? Reckon that is where the ‘He MAKES”, “He LEADS”, “He GUIDES” comes into play. We would never leave if it was up to us!!!! Or I know myself well enough and am honest with GOD to say “do I have to go over there to the valley???? ” “I don’t want to go” those valleys are tough times and painful and causing one to die of self more and more — My valleys tend to have a high price/cost — Even though, I walk – following — praising — because others come to know my Father by the God-story he puts on my lips when I tell his story in my life — I have to stop now — need to be still and listen — Thanks for giving me a place to express.

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