I am the Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Studies have shown that among office workers who are contracted to work 8 hours a day, they actually only put in, on average, 3 hours of work a day. The remaining 5 hours go on checking social media, taking breaks to chat, and even an average of 26 mins a day spent looking for other jobs. Depending on your background you might find these statistics horrifying, or say “yes, that’s about right”.
But perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising. Many office workers work for large corporations, doing something they don’t care about, to make money for shareholders they will never meet. Is it any wonder they don’t pour their heart and souls into their work? On the other hand, I think those numbers would be very different if you looked self-employed people. They are personally invested in their businesses, their future depends on it, so they are willing to go above and beyond. They can’t just quit and move on to a new job, so they do everything they can to make it work.
To bring Jesus’s words into the modern era, “I am not an employee who doesn’t care, who is only interested in my own paycheck. This is my project, and I am going to give it my all”. Jesus is our shepherd. He won’t run away when things get tough. He is ours and we are his, and we can always count on our shepherd to lead us home.
Prayer: Jesus our Shepherd, thank you for you care and keeping. May we know we are loved and will always be a part of your flock.
Action: Are there anything things you are doing half-heartedly at the moment? Maybe it’s time to make a decision: is it time to stop, or is it time to inject some renewed enthusiasm?
This Thought was written by David Moodie