Last Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday. In the gospel, Our Lord describes himself as the Good Shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for his sheep. This post was inspired by one of the hymns we sang at that Mass. The refrain goes something like this, “Shepherd me, O Lord beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.” Wow! Every time I sing this hymn, I think, how profound! What an awesome message!
Unfortunately, most of us live lives based on what we want, what we think, and what we feel. This, my friends, is a recipe for disaster! If you don’t believe me just read My Story.
Living in a secular society, we are encouraged to focus on these things to the exclusion of anything else. What do we want? What do we think? What do we feel? And while it is good to know these things, they are not meant to be the basis for making life decisions. As the hymn says, when I focus on these things alone they bring me death. In fact, millions of people living this secular approach to life have brought a “culture of death” into the world. And because we are surrounded by this disordered thinking, living in the midst of all this confusion, we can often “miss the forest for the trees.” Remember, God is the Author of all life. Without Him there is no life, only death!
We need to wake up, and get wise! Left to our own devices, we all self-destruct! Remember Adam and Eve! They were unable to rise above their wants and their fears. What do we have that they did not? Our Lord, Jesus, of course! Our Lord has come to redeem us, to save us from ourselves! He is the Good Shepherd who has laid down his life for us, his sheep!
So how do we make better life decisions? We let Our Lord shepherd us! We go to him in prayer and seek his counsel, his will. When we are finally ready to admit that we do not always know what is in our own best interest; that, in fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves; and that He really does love us and wants only the very best for us; then we are able to begin to trust Him with our lives. We become like docile sheep, and let Him shepherd us. And He brings us out of death and into life!
“I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curse. Choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)