Daily D – Psalm 78:70-71
Psalm 78:70, 71 He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel. (NLT)
A well-known British television star whose fame was built around his expertise in automobiles began a new venture as a farmer. This included adding shepherd to his areas of knowledge. Notice I did not say, “Expertise.”
The kicker for me was lambing season. Go ahead and watch this episode if you must. I am content never to consider lambing season again for the rest of my life. It is messier and more demanding than you imagine if you have no prior knowledge of the subject.
Re-reading today’s text from Psalm 78 in light of this recent viewing experience, everything takes on new meaning, including verse 72.
“He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.”
You’ve really gotta love sheep, and you’ve really gotta have skillful hands for lambing season.
Working with people is messier than you dreamed when you sat in psychology class and figured out motivations and competing desires. Sociology taught you how to wrangle mores and folkways to move people in the direction you want them to go. Then you met people and it was not nearly as neat as the textbook made it seem.
People are messy. It is impossible to control them without threat of death. Maybe this is why so many politicians move toward totalitarianism as soon as they gain a bit of authority. It’s good to be king. It sucks being a subject.
If you want to prepare to lead people, lambing season will prove instructive. Calving season is also helpful. Cleaning up after milking cows is perhaps most beneficial of all. There’s a lot of, well, waste material to shovel.
Even if we never achieve a leadership position, we have to learn to lead ourselves. We have to learn how to live with others. We have to learn how to serve with true hearts, skillful hands, and cleaning supplies.
Today is likely going to be messy. Every day with people is.
Take a fresh look at the Gospels. Jesus walked everywhere. He walked slowly through crowds. He encountered thousands upon thousands of messy people. He loved every one of them. He loved them to the end. He loved them enough to die for them and to prepare a place in heaven for them. He loves us so much he is coming back for us one day sooner than we think, but not as soon as we would like on some days after hours of messiness with first one person and then another.
Think you can handle it? You can’t. But Jesus says he will teach you how to do it so that you don’t run out of patience, run out on your relationships, or run away from your responsibilities. He says he will unburden you, give you rest, and humbly and gently instruct you. (See Matthew 11:28-30.)
I will lean into my messy day humbly, gently, unburdened, and amply blessed with a song to sing as I clean up this mess.
Our Father, people are messy. This includes me. Thank you for considering me worth it. Empower me to treat others the way I want to be treated today. I want everyone to think like you, to think I am worth the mess. Give me strength for the messy people I will encounter along the way today. Amen.
CONNECT WITH ME!
Interested in learning more about Church Unique or Life Younique? Send a note through the Get In Touch box or Message me through the Facebook link above.
GET IN TOUCH!
READ MY BLOG!
Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.