As much as I would like to believe that I am not a sheep, I am one.
Not, I suppose, a blind follower of a random mindless herd. (Unless that’s what all followers of Christ are). I like to believe that I have the capacity to think with some originality. I like to believe that I have some passion to do things that matter. In fact, I even have a passion statement.
But every time I hear conversations about not being sheep, about being original, about being independent and trailblazing and leaving cubicles, I struggle a bit.
Because I ache. Because no matter how hard I try I still find myself walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Because no matter how hard I try, I am in the presence of the enemy of my soul. Because I need, oh, I so desperately need still water. Because my soul needs restoration.
And you do too. Right? I mean there are moments when you cannot help but be a sheep. Not the conformist image we fight, but the somewhat fragile being that everyone – everyone – wants a piece of.
I guess I’m not talking about jobs, about careers, about status and success. I’m talking about what’s behind all that, the gaping hole in your chest behind the facade of the press release. The dull ache the next morning when the sun comes up and everything you thought would work didn’t.
That’s when it’s worth understanding what it means to be a sheep. And what it means to have a shepherd who is willing to lead and feed and heal and restore. And in the middle of the valley, be present. And in the front of the enemies, serve a feast.
It is David’s favorite lyric: “The Lord is my shepherd.”