Everyone finds themselves “out there” once in a while. 

Luke 15: 3-7 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 

As a person familiar with animal husbandry and growing up on the farm, I always found this parable to be a bit impractical. I don’t know your level of sheep knowledge but some would say that a sheep is constantly looking for a way to do mortal harm to itself. The case has been made that they’re always looking for a reason to die. So, the idea of leaving 99 sheep to their own devices has always left me with a bit of trepidation. As usual, I miss the point entirely.

The story isn’t about the 99, it’s about the 1. The 99 don’t need the shepherd’s help. They’re going to be just fine. In fact, they’re righteous (never seen a righteous sheep but let’s not go down that path, I’ve already digressed enough). You see the one HAS gone astray and IS in mortal peril. Knowing this, the shepherd really has no choice but to leave the flock and pursue the lost. I thank God because as lost as I am in this parable; I’m just as often lost in my pursuit of life. Of course, you guessed it, this makes me the sheep.

While I’ve never put myself out there as any kind of genius I feel I have a fair amount of smarts. Still, I have done some really dumb things. These dumb things include stuff that would put my soul at risk. It’s clear I am in need of a shepherd. I am in need of a shepherd that will go out into the wild, leaving behind all the other sheep and when at long last he finds me isn’t upset but joyful.

My shepherd doesn’t herd me back to safety; he picks me up and carries me back. To top it all off he tells everyone around that I am back in the fold.

Thank goodness He never took an Animal Science class at the College of Agriculture.

The Everyday Question: Where in your life do you wander away and what brings you back?

I hope that this gave you some comfort if at times you feel lost. If you know someone that could use some comforting, please share this with them. We have the social icons below to help. 

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