Don't you love how you hear things at the perfect time? The past week has brought me contemplating a LOT of things! Sometimes I just think how thankful I am that my life is never boring. I have never lived a boring existence in my 35 years on this earth, and I am so thankful for that. I think I was created with gypsy blood, and I used to hate that part of me. Instead I have finally learned to embrace it! I am not alone in this world of gypsies, there are actually a lot more of us on this planet than what you might think. I think it is the gypsy persona that allows me to grab a hold of just about every adventure-filled opportunity I am given.
So what does this have to do with shepherds and fishermen? Well.... I promise it does! Somehow! Let me just work my way there....
I am going through the study "Finding I Am" by Lysa TerKeurst. I was actually supposed to finish it 2 weeks, ago but you know I just don't like sticking to the schedule that most studies go by. I like moving at my own pace. So, I am still in like week 3 or something. Anyway today's study was all about shepherds. More specifically about shepherd's roles in the Bible. When I think about a shepherd I think of someone who cares about sheep. Someone who risks their life for sheep, someone who is willing to sacrifice a lot in order to keep those sheep safe. Fishermen on the other hand....well I thought that Lysa did a good job of explaining how fisherman don't really have that same nurturing type with fish. I mean when you think about it fishermen basically just catch the fish, throw the ones back they don't want...and then cut the ones they want. There is not really much caring that goes along with that.
As I read through this tonight, it got me thinking about some things. I think up to this point I have honestly thought that I was willing and had risked everything for God. I think that I saw my experiences as risking a lot actually. I mean I have lived in places all over the world where I was the minority, where I have been called names, whistled at, felt unsafe, and maybe even been a little damaged. Isn't that risking? Isn't that what we are called to do? Doesn't that count? But what if, those experiences, and that risk was more of my fisherman moments, instead of my shepherd moments? What if those fisherman moments were just preparing me for the shepherding that God wants me to be doing in the near future?
I made this year about risk. I made this year a year to step outside of the box that I have allowed my life to be put in, and grow and learn through experiences that will stretch and grow me. What if I am supposed to really be taking a leap instead of a tiptoe? What if there is something so huge that I am supposed to be doing that the longer I remain in the safety zone the more I am hurting my shepherding skills instead of defining them?
I am not sure that I even know or understand what all of this means. I just know that tonight as I was reading through Ezekiel 34, I realized that God says that He will take care of His sheep. He says that He will go after His sheep, to all the places that they wander. What if shepherding His sheep doesn't just mean staying in the safe zone? What if it means going some place and doing something completely unsafe and dangerous? What if it means that I am literally willing to risk my life for the sake of His sheep?
Isn't that what it should be about? Shouldn't my life be about finding His sheep, and leading them? Shouldn't I be willing to risk what is comfortable, and safe in order to live out what I have been called to? Isn't love about risk? Isn't love about giving up whatever I can to give someone a chance to live a better life? Isn't that what it is about? If I am constantly in fear that I will be hurt, damaged, or taken then what faith do I have in God? What faith do I have in myself? What faith do I have in love?
I don't want to be a fisherman anymore. I want to be a shepherd. I want to care for those that have been lost, I want to listen to the voice of my own shepherd, and I want to risk whatever I can to help bring the flock back to the green pasture. There is no sheep that is not worth the risk. Every single one is important, every single one benefits from hearing the shepherd's voice.