I remember a while back my Mum telling me a story about a shepherd. Someone had commented to him that sheep were basically a bit thick. Having seen a little of the way sheep function, they could be forgiven this view. But his reply was outstanding:
“Sheep know exactly what they need to know to be a sheep!”
Simple country wisdom eh? Now bear with me…
I was on my bike going to work the other morning. I’m very blessed in that most of my journey is along quiet rural roads through some pretty countryside. I’m doubly blessed at the moment because it is now pretty much light when I leave for work in the morning!
So there I was cycling along, taking in the sights and I just couldn’t shake the beginning of Psalm 19 from my head:
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”
All of this beautiful scenery calling out the glory of God. Worshipping without words. But how?
Thinking on a little more, I was struck that everything that I could see, hills, trees, hedges, birds, even sheep, were just doing what they were created to do. Being what they were created to be. Perfectly and without getting in their own way.
Then I was struck again by how different it can be for us!
I honestly believe that discovering and living out life’s purpose is one of the most important things a person can do. So if you’re like me you may spend a lot of time thinking and praying about the reason you were created. Wondering what your real purpose is and the reason you were born. Sometimes you may even get a little glimpse of what that might look like.
But then we go and get in the way. Trying to force things to happen in the way we envision, rather than being where God has put us and living that moment out to the best of our ability. We look for milestones of transformation, step changes, something “else” rather than relying on the cumulative effect of day after day after day of obedience.
We are blessed with the capacity to think, but have the terrible tendency to overthink things.
Maybe it would be easier if, like those sheep, we simply rested in what he has made us to be? If we prayed with abandonment daily to be used for his purpose and trusted that where we are is where he needs us to be?
Then perhaps, like the beauty of God’s creation which so impacted the Psalmist, we would glorify him, worship him and bring him praise without the need for words.