Trampling the Pasture
When someone famous walks through a public space, we tend to see a crowd surround them, seeking autographs, selphies with them, Mike Tyson even explains that people always want a selphie with him biting their ears! It is baffling to me the way people will fawn over someone who just happens to have a job in the public eye. It is as-if having that autograph, or that photo makes them a better person, or proves they are friends with someone famous. When a new product is released, a movie, a cell phone, a video game, people will line up hours before the store opens to be the first to have it, as if they will be revered for their new possession, and they will be so proud, displaying their new “toy” to their friends and co-workers, as if to say “see what I have, I am better than you”. We seem to want that thing, or that position so much, we will push our way to the front of the line, we will disregard everyone around us trampling so to speak, everyone else’s chance to get at what we desire.
We have all seen these things, and even if we have done them ourselves, most of us would admit that it’s kind of sad that we are like that. It happens in more subtle ways as well. When we buy a fancy car, or a big house, when we go to expensive restaurants, or take exotic vacations. Status symbols that we have “made it” to a place of luxury. Please understand, I am not saying it is wrong to enjoy the rewards of hard work, and diligent study. I am not here to judge anyone’s choices, I am just looking at my life, and see these things, and wonder what else I have missed.
Even now that I consider myself a disciple of Jesus, I wonder if I trample on others to strengthen my relationship with God. I do see in me times when I see the grace of God, and fail to point it out to someone who may not see. I see people who may be in pain, and fail to bind their wounds. People who are sick and fail to heal. Hungry I fail to feed. Do I prevent people from knowing God through my own efforts to know Him better? Am I trampling on the grass of the good pasture, muddying the water of the clear stream to ensure I get mine?
The Lord spoke through Ezekiel against such things. He says He will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. He said; “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away”. Ezekiel 34: 20-21
Am I loving my neighbor if I don’t share my relationship with God? I don’t think I am. Now sure, I guess I do share God with a lot of people. I do reach out to people in pain, I do try to feed the hungry. But I miss people, I intentionally miss people, if I don’t think they will receive it well, if I don’t think the place or time is right, or if I’m just not in the mood, or don’t think I have the time. Shame on me.
Thank you Father God, for your Holy Spirit. Thank You for Your son Jesus, for the example he was, for the sacrifice he made, the blood he shed, the Word he is. Thank you God for Ezekiel, and the Word you spoke through him, and for leading me there today. Father God, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ for perseverance, for boldness, for discernment. I pray Lord God that you use this vessel for your will alone. I pray that all I do reflects your son Jesus. I pray Father God that I am never too busy, to distracted, or too afraid to share your will and your grace. I pray that all I do and say is about you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen