Who Wants To Watch Sheep?

who let you in?

who let you in? (Photo credit: van Ort)

So I know it has been a while since my last blog update. In fact, my last post was on December 27th! That was almost a month away. My last semester at my local community college ended for me just before Christmas, and because all of the programs I am considering for my bachelor’s degree are cohorts they do not begin until next fall. For the past month, I have had a lot of free time on my hands.

I say that kind of tongue-in-cheek. With a full-time job, a family of four and everything else I keep myself busy with my life has continued to be full of activity through my break. I have been able to enjoy some time with my wife and girls. I have done some reading, and my pursuit of knowing God through his word has not slowed. I just haven’t shared anything with you.

And now we get on with it.

 

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalms 27:14

 

 I have spent much time lately thinking about what I feel God is calling me to do with my life. I accepted his call into ministry many years ago, but have struggled to “break” my way in. I work with students at my church, and I believe they are not only my passion but my calling. I love spending time with middle school age students (yes, God has blessed me with the ability to over look the smell). I remember middle school being a tough time in my childhood, and I desperately wanted someone to give me the attention acceptance I was looking for. I hate to hear stories about students who feel alone and are falling way, and I can not help but find that kid sitting by himself and introduce him to my pose’ of boys.

Every week I look forward to spending time with these young men and women. Aside from time with my family, it is one of the highlights of my week. But I often struggle with my desires to be involved in their lives and my responsibilities at home and at work. It often seems there are not enough hours in my day to do all that I want to accomplish. I know… you have never felt like that. Maybe not the middle school part (I do understand they smell, it just doesn’t bother me), but you struggle to find time to be a good husband/wife, father/mother, employee, mentor, or student. It is tough. This struggle has often brought me to a place of brokenness.

I have had one of those times lately, and my reading of God’s word led me to Moses.

 

The Book of the Exodus tells about the Hebrew children after they find themselves enslaved by the Egyptians. If you read your Bible regularly you might be familiar of the story of Moses. But in the small chance that you stumbled upon this blog and are unfamiliar, allow me to give you the short version. The Hebrew grew in number and the Egyptians became fearful of a revolt. So the Pharaoh (king) restricted the number of children the Hebrew families could have (not unlike China is doing today). Only the Pharaoh wanted all newborn boys to be slain. Many families attempted to hid their children. One such family was the family of Moses.

However the risk became grave and his mother decided to place him in a basket and let it flow down the river. She prayed that the child would find a safe home. The little guy drifted right to the Pharaoh’s daughter’s bathing area. She took him into her home and allowed his birth mother to nurse him. Moses, as she named him, grew in the Pharaoh’s palace.

After Moses had grown, he felt compassion for his people. He hated to see them mistreated by the Egyptians. And one day he saw an Egyptian going too far, and Moses in his anger killed the Egyptian. Moses knew that his high stature would not spare him from his fate, so he fled Egypt.

Moses came to a family of shepherds and they accepted him into their family. He would go on to marry a woman from the shepherd family. So Moses found himself not in the palace of Pharaoh, but in the fields of Reuel.

 

This week I was thinking about Moses time as a shepherd of Reuel’s flock. How meaningless his life must have seemed. Moses did not know that God had called him to free the Egyptians. He was not in the desert waiting further instruction. As he stared over the fields and watched the animals graze, he must have been very, very bored. I can not imagine spending four years as a shepherd… And Moses spent forty! I wonder how much patience he gained while herding the sheep of Reuel? I wonder if that is why God directed his life in that direction…

Of course I realize I am projecting my emotions on the matter on to Moses. Moses may have been perfectly at peace in the fields with the sheep. We of course know this prepared him for his time in the wilderness with the Israelites. I pray that I can stay positive about my little time in the desert as I wait on the Lord’s calling to be made known.

I mean, it could be worse… He could have me in a field watching sheep.

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