. . . "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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One of the most rewarding benefits of having a blog is the interaction with readers behind the scenes. Sometimes readers send private notes explaining their comments or share stories. Sheep-Dog is one of those readers. He sent me this video and it made me smile. We'll learn a bit more about Sheep-Dog and his life as a boy who raised sheep in the future, but we'll go with this for now. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Sheep-Dog created a storyline narrative of the video. Keep in mind that you are reading the words of one who spent many years up close and personal with sheep. He knows what he is talking about:
Hi, welcome to my story. I’m a Border Collie, AKA sheep dog. My momma and poppa were both sheep dogs too. I am now well-trained and know how to do my job. I love my master and my work. Someone took some pictures of me when I was a puppy. I start out cute and cuddly like all pups. I played with my sibling and then at about 9 weeks my master started to train me.
He is always kind to me and gives me little treats when I do well. When I got to be 5 months old he took me out to see the sheep. I had fun! I chased those sheep and they ran in all directions.
But my master stopped me and petted me and took me back home. I am embarrassed for you to see me because that is not how I was supposed to handle the sheep. I was just a puppy and had more training ahead of me. I can’t tell you how I was trained. It is a secret between only me and my master. But look at me at 9 months.
You can see I have learned a lot since I have matured. See how I bring the sheep in. In the video I help the master keep a ewe from running away while he checks her lamb. Aren’t those little lambs cute?
My job is to keep the sheep together and not let any stray from the flock, and to keep them close to the master. If he wants them to go in the barn he will stand close to the door and I will gently chase the sheep through the door. Or maybe he wants them to go through a gate. Those sheep aren’t too bright, so I help them know where the need to go. Have you ever seen a sheep do any tricks? Sheep just don't learn much.
My master says I am a lot like a good pastor. He says that a good Christian pastor will always point the people to their shepherd (God), and try to keep them in the “flock”. My master says that a bad pastor will scatter the people just like I scattered the sheep when I was a puppy. He says pastors need to be trained too. How about that?
Now I realize that I may look a little like a wolf, but there is a big difference. My master feeds me and I never bite a sheep. Not ever. The wolf, even though he may be a very distant cousin of mine, is out for a meal. He will kill the sheep and eat them. I hope I never run up against a wolf. They are larger than I am.
Well, I hope you enjoyed watching me at work. I would rather be working with the sheep than anything else. But it is fun when my master’s grandchildren come over and take me to the woods. I love to chase the squirrels. But they run up the trees and make fun of me. Silly squirrels! But that is just a hobby. Sheep are my job. I get paid well too. Food, treats, petting, tummy rubs, and free medical care.
Sheep-Dog sent me this private note (posted with permission). I appreciate his perspective.
JA-If you can use any of that, go for it. It shows the dog's role in herding the sheep. The dog does control the sheep, but in a good way, and for their own good because they are too dumb and helpless to know what to do on their own.
As I first watched that video, I sat and looked at what has happening, asking myself, "What are these dogs really doing?" I had watched several sheep dog videos by this time. The dogs just seemed to know when to lie down and when to stand, and how to move. I have to admit my eyes go damp when I realized that the dog is doing what I said above, keeping the flock together and close to the master/shepherd.
What a beautiful analogy of a good pastor. Maybe we have had it wrong for a long time. Maybe the pastor is not the shepherd, maybe the pastor is (like the dog) an instrument that the Shepherd/Master(God/Jesus) uses to keep the flock together and pointed to HIM. Just food for thought. David didn't say, "The pastor is my shepherd." But he says "The Lord is my shepherd."