It can be difficult to grasp the meaning of ancient stories written in a different culture, in another age, translated who knows how many times. Baptism, the washing of feet and many other concepts are just not part of our lives today. How do we relate to the bible? Margaret Feinberg’s book: “Scouting the Divine” does a great job of building a bridge between the 21st century God seeker and some of the rich life changing stories penned nearly two thousand years ago. The Bible’s stories are packed with meaning for our lives today and she seems to take great joy in unraveling a few of them for us with this book.
As she spends her days with Lynne the shepherdess, tending the flock she learns many lessons that parallel our walk with God. She finds that sheep are not stupid at all, but they are prey animals and quite dependent on a good shepherd. Without the shepherd, they have no way of defending themselves against predators nor would they even be able to feed or take care of themselves. Even seemingly good things like green pasture can be a danger to them, as they don’t know when to stop eating the rich green grass. Left to their own devices, they foolishly overeat and upset the delicate balance of their digestive systems. For many breeds, even regular shearing is a necessity or else the very wool on their backs gets so cumbersome it presents a danger to them.
The main thing Margaret found out about sheep is that they only live because of the care and work of the shepherd. They are completely and utterly dependent on the shepherd for survival. The sheep come to trust the shepherd and rely upon him for all their needs. She also learned that the good shepherd’s intent is to keep the flock from harm – even when they don’t like it too much, he cares for them and helps them rear healthy lambs for the future of the flock.
Having raised sheep and goats myself, I can tell you that there are hundreds if not thousands of lessons that speak about our relationship with God that can be gleaned from looking more closely at this symbiotic relationship between the good shepherd and his flock.
God is speaking. Are you listening? This is the biggest lesson I got from Margaret’s book; a reminder that God is always speaking to us – through our brothers and sisters, through the bible, in creation and through the everyday circumstances of life. Are you listening? What I see in Margaret and so appreciate is a hunger to know God and delve every facet of this wonderful relationship we share with our creator. She is listening and she’s anxious to hear from God. The good shepherd laid down His life for the sheep, and His sheep follow because they know His voice. Praise God for speaking to us from pasture or pulpit. What a good shepherd is He!
About the contributor:
Don is a friend of God who lives in rural New Hampshire. His mission is to be kind, complimentary and teachable; to live with integrity as a team player always serving, growing and learning. He has been the recipient of amazing amounts of mercy and grace, is surrounded by great friends and family and hopes to share the love he’s experienced with others.