The call of our Lord is “hidden” in a whole chorus of worldly voices which beckon us. Other would-be shepherds seek to tempt us away from the Good Shepherd, the joy of his forgiveness and the security of his love. And when we are weak and confused we may fall victim to the enticements of other gods.
I am reminded of an American tourist who was traveling in the Middle East. He came upon several shepherds whose flocks had intermingled while drinking water from a brook. After an exchange of greetings, one of the shepherds turned toward the sheep and called out, “Manah. Manah. Manah.” (Manah means “follow me” in Arabic.) Immediately his sheep separated themselves from the rest and followed him.
Then one of the two remaining shepherds called out, “Manah. Manah.” and his sheep left the common flock to follow him. The traveler then said to the third shepherd, “I would like to try that. Let me put on your cloak and turban and see if I can get the rest of the sheep to follow me.”
The shepherd smiled knowingly as the traveler wrapped himself in the cloak, put the turban on his head and called out, “Manah. Manah.” The sheep did not respond to the stranger’s voice. Not one of them moved toward him. “Will the sheep ever follow someone other than you?” The traveler asked.
“Oh yes,” the shepherd replied,” sometimes a sheep gets sick, and then it will follow anyone.”
We have seen it, haven’t we? People, young and old, who are “sick.” Battered by the storms of life and distracted by voices urging them to go this way and that. They have lost their bearings and they don’t know where they are or where they are going.
That can be more than a little frightening. It leads to despair, to hopelessness. And when someone is “sick” they will follow anyone who will promise a moment of happiness, a brief feeling of peace or forgetfulness, a sense that they are someone.
But the call of Jesus the Good Shepherd is, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” There is no better way, no greater truth, no happier life. Our Lord reaches out to us in love that we might follow him.
Thanks to John M. Braaten for these words.
Think of a time when Jesus, the Good Shepherd, helped you find the right road in your life.
During this stressful time of the coronavirus pandemic, are you still on the right road in your life?
Are you willing to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to where he is leading you at THIS TIME IN YOUR LIFE?
Please be sure to watch the 3-minute video – NEWSPAPER DELIVERY MAN TURNS INTO A GROCERY LIFELINE – that I am also emailing you today. PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT!!