Sunday readings reflection: We need a shepherd

Readings for July 18,  2021

Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 23:1-6
Ephesians 2:13-18
Mark 6:30-34

I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but I do have a practically-based level of knowledge that gets me through most of the day’s challenges. For the most part, I can handle the simple and the hard stuff and, when I’m paying attention, I can figure out the stuff in between (as long as it doesn’t include math). In my worldly life, I do not consider myself a sheep in need of a shepherd. I’m not a great follower nor do I listen to the voices of others much even when I do seek direction. In most things, I’m opinionated and strong willed and not altogether shy about it.

I assume many, if not most, people are like me. We are more ingrained to forge our own path than to follow a shepherd. So, if God created me this way, with the free will to make choices and the intellect to discern those choices, why do I need a shepherd? I can handle this stuff, right? Well, as much as I sometimes think I know it all, I don’t. And God does. 

God formed me in love, for love, and to love. He wants me to return to Him, who is holy, and He alone knows the path I should take to holiness. To follow His will, I need only to accept that He is all-knowing and loves me with a love more intense than anything the world offers. 

That said, God’s shepherding does not free me from responsibility. Nor does it negate my ability to choose and gain knowledge and wisdom and all that comes from that. But following His call frees me from worry, gives me an unending peace even in times of trouble, and surrounds me with love. So yes, I need a shepherd and I will look to God to be that shepherd in my life. I will do so because I make mistakes, I fall short, I take the wrong path. But God doesn’t. He “leads me beside still waters” and He watches over me with an unsurpassing love. So, I will follow Him. 

My Lord God, with my own will I make choices on the limited knowledge and understanding of this world. But you have no such limits. So I seek to follow You wherever You lead me. I know that my life will not be absent of difficulty, but with You in the lead, I will have peace. Thank You, Lord, for shepherding me. Amen

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