Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shepherd thoughts - Part Two

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Once the shepherd has collected his flock from the pen they head up into the hills outside of the village. This can be some distance away. The shepherd knows where to lead them to find the grass and clover they need. Once they arrive he allows them to rest, lie down in green pastures. There was a time when I was overextending my time and energy. I just couldn't figure what to let go of, it all seemed important. And then I got really ill and couldn't get up for a few days. As I prayed, it seemed to me that my Shepherd was making me lie down for a while, undisturbed, with a gracious period of rest to pray about my life. Within a short time I knew just what I needed to do and was quickly well, up and about. I remember praying with Hymn 148. It begins; "In heavenly Love abiding, no change my heart shall fear;". That was what I needed to know. The third verse begins: "Green pastures are before me, which yet I haven't seen".

The sheep are also thirsty after the walk and the good shepherd knows how to find fresh water. It is often in streams which the shepherd can dam to make quiet pools. The sheep could easily drown if they fell into swift moving water. So it is important to create that stillness. Still water also gives a perfect reflection. We've all seen pictures like that, with mountains and clouds perfectly reflected on the surface of a lake. Mrs. Eddy has much to say about the concept of reflection in her writings. "Man is, and forever has been, God's reflection."

So you and I, as the cherished members of the Good Shepherd's flock, can know that our daily needs have been thought out and loving provided. We can expect our environment to be like the green pastures. We can look for those moments of quiet and stillness that allow us to see the perfect reflection. Mrs. Eddy sums it up with "Divine Love always has met and always will me every human need".

Go in peace today.

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