Many references are made throughout the Bible about sheep and about the Lord being the Good Shepherd. There is the famous Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. John 10:14: I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep. John 10:27: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.
In the United States we understand the reference but it’s rare to see a sheep other than in a petting zoo! On a choir trip to Scotland and England, the Bible verses literally came to life along the roadside, pastures, and hills.
Throughout the British Isles sheep are a main fixture of the landscape.
Traveling from Manchester, England to Edinburgh, Scotland by motor coach, our tour guide pointed out a flock of sheep that started moving very suddenly. Up until that time, the sheep were either grazing or resting, they were never on the move. He explained to us that when one sheep started to move, that first sheep became the leader and the other sheep would follow. It was really quite amazing to watch. Right in the middle of eating some grass, they saw the leader and took off.
How often do we lose sight of our inner knowing and being guided by God and take off in another direction lead by another voice? It happens all of the time. Jeremiah 50:3 says: My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have lead them astray.
We can always get back on track. I Peter 2:25: For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Listening to the voice of our true Leader and Shepherd means being still and getting quiet. Meditation is a great way to learn how to be still. If you’ve never practiced meditation, it is a powerful practice to quiet the mind. I say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God.
Are other voices leading you astray, or are you being lead in the right direction? Your true Shepherd is always there to listen and to lead.