Thursday, October 4, 2012

People Are Sheep

At last week's bible study we talked a lot about sheep.

Yes. Sheep.

We learned all kinds of fun facts about sheep - and some of those facts can describe humans too.

  • Sheep are social animals
  • Sheep are stubborn - hence the necessary herding by the Shepherd.
  • Sheep can't sleep if hungry - they will continuously search until they find contentment.
  • Sheep are creatures of habit - to the point of eating grass in the same area until it is bad and destroying the land.
  • Sheep are followers - mass minded - and will follow the crowd, preferring to stay together.
  • Sheep have no natural defenses and rely on the Shepherd to protect them.

There were a lot of other facts but these were the ones that stood out to me most.

The one that I related to the most was that sheep will search continuously until they find contentment.

Doesn't that describe us all? We are constantly looking for something...something to fill that voice, sadness, loneliness, desperation...whatever it is in our lives that we find lacking. We don't stop looking for contentment. Some people look for it in alcohol. Others, like me, try to find it in food. Some use their work to define their lives.

What is it we all really need in our lives to be content? I certainly do not have the answer to that as I can't describe myself as content. I have moments of contentedness. Is that a word? But not an overall feeling of being content at all times.

Just like sheep, we need a strong Shepherd that protects and watches over us to give us the opportunity to be content...and full. Full in the spirit. Full in His word. Content.

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep will follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." John 10:1-5

How many things come into our lives as thieves? Alcoholism robs us of families, friends, jobs. Compulsive eating robs us of our health (and money). These things come into our lives as enticing - with the promise of fulfillment, but they are thieves sneaking into our lives - not coming through the front door - or the gate - where Jesus stands watch for us.

"All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen tot hem. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." John 10:9

Only through Christ can we find true fulfillment in life. Nothing else will substitute. It's a difficult thing to wrap my mind around and one that, honestly, I struggle with constantly. But it doesn't make it any less true.

It just makes me a stubborn sheep.

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