How alike are you to a sheep? Maybe you are thinking that you are nothing like a sheep. They often hold a reputation for being not very smart, defenseless, and a docile animal. However, sheep are quite intelligent and have impressive memory and recognition skills. Sheep are also very connected to other sheep. They build up friendships, stick up for one another in fights, and commiserate with fellow sheep heading to slaughter. And even more interesting is that sheep like to play! Are you feeling any better now about identifying with a sheep?
Earlier this month in different areas of the United Kingdom, British sheep have experienced a new sense of freedom. As parks and other spaces are shut down and people remain secluded in their homes due to the COVID-19 virus, sheep are experiencing a new life of opportunities. They are now roaming around the new open spaces. But the sheep are not just choosing any field to wander though, they are purposefully seeking out children’s playgrounds. Once the sheep reach their destination they then quickly move to their favorite equipment, the “Roundabout,” better known in the United States as the “Merry-go-round.”
Perhaps you remember playing on the “Merry-go-round. Typically, a group of children will sit or hang on while the others spin the wheel. Each takes a turn to keep the wheel moving. Sheep in the UK have been spotted in different areas playing on the “Merry-go-rounds.” On a 40-acre farm park near Monmouthshire, a flock of sheep was spotted pushing each other on the “merry-go-round 2 days in a row. Sheep were also seen playing on the local “Merry-go-rounds” in Preston and private yards. Does this change your perception of sheep?
In the Bible, God’s people and specifically, followers of Christ are referred to as sheep. But these sheep are often viewed as not very smart animals. It seems the research and the observation contradict this view. For if the opportunity presents itself sheep would rather play organized games with their community. They seem to have a passion for assisting one another and hold a special zeal for fun. Are you feeling a little more akin to sheep now?
As humans, our spirits too, hold a natural inclination for making the best of new situations and predicaments. We, too, seem to make fun out of nothing. Simply watch, read, or listen to the news and you see amazing creativity and innovation being sparked by the forced seclusion of the COVID-19. People, like sheep, will simply not be held down. We seek the “Merry-go-rounds” of life to do what we desire to do. Yes, we are also fearful at times, but we are also the most adaptable creatures on the planet. Perhaps that is where we get into trouble and why we may need a shepherd.
The Merry-Go-Rounds of Life
It is our adaptability and desire that causes us to need a Savior, a Shepherd that will protect us from ourselves. Someone to keep us on the right path to everlasting life. God sent the Messiah to help herd us back to Him for we were wandering too far off course. “Merry-go-rounds” in life can be fun however, they can also present danger if not utilized properly. It is important to not only know but to realize that Christ offers us protection. His protection gives both a peaceful life on earth and eternal life. We need to remember that no matter what the world or hyperlocal situations are that we must not allow ourselves to wander off unattended for it is there that the danger lies.
When we, like the sheep, keep our eyes focused on the Good Shepherd, we can still have our “Merry-go-round” fun but under protection. It is best to always look to Christ but certainly first when in times of despair rather than seeking outside resources. When we present our life and identity as the sheep of the Good Shepherd, we choose to look to Him before jumping on the “Merry-go-rounds” of life. It is also through our connection to the Shepherd that we can hold tightly together and adapt to the things of life with peace because He grants us the ability to do so.
Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.1 Peter 2:25 (NLT)
Changing from the Inside Out
It is important to remember that no matter what is going on in the world or in our personal circles that we always look to Christ. Recognizing fully that God works within us to make us the kind of person that is pleasing to Him is the first step. This freedom allows us to be ourselves. Believers know with confidence that He will equip us to do the kind of work that pleases Him. Therefore, we must allow God to change us from within so that He can use us to help others.
The Good Shepherd is always watching over and protecting His sheep, (us). There is always hope through Christ with strong solidarity when we feel helpless or without a voice. Our endurance speaks to our faithfulness when we find ourselves in a tough situation. God sees and hears when we suffer for things that we are not responsible for just like Christ suffered for things He never did, but Christ took it all for us. It is our trust that remains in the God who judges and will one day make all things right. Believers are always protected from eternal harm which gives us the gift of everlasting safety.
All We Like Sheep
All we like sheep, have gone astray, (Isaiah 53:6) and we need the protection of Christ to see us through life. Won’t you be challenged to recognize your need for the Good Shepherd for both the good and difficult times of life? Find your conviction rooted in knowing that He is always with you and knows fully what you are going through. Be motivated in your “sheep-like” nature to follow the Shepherd for protection and recognize that He is not withholding the “Merry-go-rounds” in your life just guarding your safety. Lastly, find comfort in knowing that once you accept His gift of life you belong to Him eternally.
Please continue to be safe and know that I am praying for you all.
Love in Christ,
May the perfect grace and eternal love of Christ our Lord be our never-failing protection and help.Saint Ignatius
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you identify with sheep? Have you found the protection offered by the Good Shepherd? Share your thoughts on the need for a Shepherd that offers you safety on the “Merry-go-rounds” of life.
Credits Constable, H. (2017, April 19). Sheep are not stupid, and they are not helpless either. Retrieved from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170418-sheep-are-not-stupid-and-they-are-not-helpless-either