A Shepherdless existence.
Why is it important for sheep to have a shepherd? I mean, wouldn’t sheep do just fine without a guy standing there holding a curved stick to guide them? It would appear so at first, however that is not the case.
Have you ever heard the term “sheeping a field to death”? Probably not…I hadn’t heard it before either, but while reading through fun facts about sheep (I was researching it for a talk I was giving on leadership), I came across this incredibly meaningful term. Apparently, sheep farmers can actually “sheep” a field to death if they allow their sheep to run around aimlessly throughout a field with no guidance. The sheep will eat absolutely all the vegetation, and trample all over what they don’t eat making it useless for any other sheep to use. They will apparently do so much damage that nothing will grow there again for some time.
The other danger of sheeping a field to death is the location of the field. If the field is at the edge of a cliff, and one sheep runs off the edge (which they tend to do at times because they are not focused), it is possible that the rest of the sheep will follow the first sheep and plunge to their death. I found all this information completely fascinating and I was amazed at just how much like sheep people are at times.
Without a Shepherd to guide us, people act much like sheep running wild. I am sure you have seen people who are not lead by the Shepherd doing some incredibly harmful things in their lives. I know I have personally seen people follow the lead of a person that has just done something incredibly stupid, just like the sheep running off a cliff. These people seem to not care enough to stop before they do something dangerous; they just see someone else do something harmful and join right in. It may seem like fun jumping off a cliff and floating down while they are in the air…but as soon as the flight stops at the bottom, they aren’t so happy any longer.
The importance of not only having “A” shepherd, but having THE GOOD SHEPHERD cannot be minimized. All people have “A” shepherd. But not all people have “The Good Shepherd”. People, much like sheep, allow their focus to be misguided and will follow the shiniest, newest, loudest, or most popular “false” shepherd to their ultimate death. This death can be physical and/or spiritual.
The other thing that amazed me about sheep is that there are apparently “leader sheep” among most flocks. These “leader sheep” can lead in a good direction or a bad one. The funny thing is that they look exactly like the other sheep, they just seem to take charge and lead the flock – seemingly to help the shepherd.
This is where you come in as parents, teachers, and adults in our Catholic faith. God has instilled inside each of us the ability to lead others. As a matter of fact, being Catholic is all about being a leader. We are supposed to make disciples of all nations, however, the direction you choose to lead in is completely up to you. Are you going to choose the righteous path and pass on your Catholic faith to your children, grandchildren, and neighbors? Or instead are you going to ignore God’s call to become a leader that passes on your faith, and have a “whatever” attitude?
Being a good shepherd is not easy. It means we have to reach out to even those people who tend to irritate us beyond words at times. Even our enemies deserve to be lead to the Shepherd. It is our duty as Catholics to lead others to God.
Our book Teaching Teens To Fail is a great way to learn the necessary techniques to be a good shepherd for your family, and for your students. Get your copy today! http://adventurecatholic.com/our-book/
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