Follow the Shepherd
John 10:4,5 “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
I have been fortunate to live in many different areas of the world, mostly Europe and the eastern part of the United States, but I’ve been enriched to see and live among other cultures. I have a natural curiosity so ask questions when some celebrations are different than ours.
For instance in Germany, the children get a night visit from St. Nick in early December, who drops candies into the shoes or boot that they left outside the door for him. They have several holidays and celebrations around the Christmas early- new year time frame, including a blessing of animals. I am not sure if that is mostly southern Germany, Bavaria, or throughout the entire country. There are many farmers in Bavaria, and they want their animals protected, and hopefully able to bear young and thereby grow the herd.
So I have been blessed learning new regional traditions and ways of experiencing celebrations, seeing cultural dress, such as lederhosen for the German men and dirndls for the women. I have seen and enjoyed bright colored flowers hanging and thriving from window and porch hangers. And certainly my eyes have been blessed seeing the dances of the area, the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls; the cattle which walk the streets of Garmisch most mornings and evenings on their way to and from the field. And initially, I was stunned when some of these cows branch off to the left, others to the right, and still others go straight. How do they know where to go? There must always be a shepherd, although I only rarely saw a young child seeming to lead his group, not all three groups.
My time traveling has proven to me that our Shepherd shepherds all. Oh, there was a young child or someone leading the cows, but on the way to the mountain fields, the cows all clumped together and stayed together, yet coming back, they seemed to know it was milking time so they each had to go to the correct barn. But it was always impressive to me to see this. And it always reminded me that we follow a Shepherd if we have heeded His call.
If these farm animals can follow their shepherd, how silly it is of us not to follow ours. It is funny to me that we frequently believe we know better than the Shepherd, and head out in a direction that is not in our best interest. And we can get into all kinds of trouble. Oh, perhaps, yet hopefully not, mired down in barbed wire, facing a ferocious beast such as a wolf or whatever, but something… all because we did not listen to the gentle prodding voice of the Shepherd.
That has happened to me enough so that when I get the prodding and don’t have peace about something, I recognize NOT to move ahead with my plans. If I do, I’ll not have made the right decision, and I will suffer for it. It takes time to recover when I have ignored the Shepherd. Sometimes the consequences of my “misbehavior” have been very costly, both financially and emotionally. Taking things in my direction when He cautioned not to, has caused me to regret my impulsive and stubborn actions.
I want to always follow the Shepherd…I know it is in my best interest for “mybellaviews.”