Sheep Poo: Psalm 23

Day 12/30

"God, my Shepherd!  I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows, and You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to Your word, You let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side.  Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.  You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.  I'm back home in the House of God for the rest of my life." - Psalm 23 (the Message)

There is so much packed into the most famous Hebrew Psalm!  This morning the words that are fully engaging my heart are "Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life."  Another translation reads, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."

I've read/heard these words numerous times throughout my life, and each and every time I've thought about what it means to follow God like sheep follow their shepherd.  Perhaps you have too.  But have you ever thought about what follows the sheep?  Without doing in-depth study of sheep culture, I'm pretty confident in my assumption that there are three things that follow sheep:

1. Empty pastures.  A bunch of sheep move through lush, green pastures, leaving a barren and seeming wasteland in their wake.  Every bit of life-giving nourishment is absorbed. 

2.  More sheep.  Unless a straggler, when a sheep looks to see what's behind it, it usually sees more sheep.  This animal pretty much travels as a group, sticking together as they follow the sheep in front of them, and ultimately the shepherd.

3.  Sheep poo.  Not to be confused with shampoo.  Sheep enjoy the lush green pasture, then leave fresh fertilizer all over the place.

Waxing poetic, "beauty and love" or "goodness and mercy" are empty pastures, more sheep, and, yes my friends... sheep poo.  May you fully immerse yourself in the beauty of your journey today; may you feed on the goodness of God.  May you follow the Good Shepherd with others on the journey, sharing His mercy with those coming along behind you.  And may the trail behind you be dotted in the life-giving fertilizer of love.

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