Successful businesses, winning teams, healthy marriages share a common reality. They stay focused on what made them great. They never forget the basics. They are committed to the purpose and passion that got them where they are.
This is especially true in times of stress and strain. If a couple are becoming distant, they re-commit to listening and sharing their hearts in a respectful way. If a team is on a losing streak they focus again on the fundamentals of their sport. If businesses are seeing a decrease in customers they renew their commitment world-class service.
The same principle is true for the success and health of our souls. As Christians we must stay focused on the basic truths, the foundational values of our faith. And all the more in times of distress such as what we are now living.
Psalm 23 gives one of the most clear (certainly one of the most popular) statements of the Christian life. It is a good reminder for us in anxious and ambiguous times. Simply put, the Lord is my Shepherd. And because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.
David lists at least 10 needs that our Shepherd meets in this life (rest, leadership, guidance, confidence, protection, comfort, provision, honor/dignity, and blessing). He goes on to declare that our Shepherd has two ‘sheep dogs’ named Goodness and Mercy (unfailing love) that are chasing us into heaven. So, in this life and in the next our Shepherd is at work for our good.
The implication of this seems to be that it is o.k. to be a sheep. By all reasonable standards, that is a little dubious. Sheep aren’t all that smart and as a result get themselves in dangerous situations. They don’t have teeth like lions to protect themselves. They can’t run fast. Their only defense is to roll over and ‘cast’ themselves (i.e. play dead).
Why then is it o.k. to be a sheep? Because of who is our Shepherd. Our Good Shepherd is so committed to us that he lived, died, was raised, and ascended to heaven for us.
None of us knows what is going to happen with the Covid-19 thing. Experts give wildly different scenarios. Apparently, most don’t even know they have had the virus. But some die from it. The economy is struggling because of it. Believers can’t gather in large groups as a result of it. We can get flustered and frustrated over it all. Even anxious and angry.
So remember, it is o.k. to be a sheep because the Lord is your Shepherd.