Friday, July 11, 2014

Alone and listening

There's nothing harder for an extrovert than to be "alone" and "not talking" to "anyone".

I put all of those in quotes because we all know that we are never alone, and even in my brain I am talking, and when I do talk in my brain, it is always with someone else.

So, the real question is not how do exterminate the world, but how do I silence all of the calls from within? And what are they saying? Are they right? or are they wrong?  Should I give them an "amen"? or not?

I think that is why God created nature.

I was out feeding the cows this morning.

No, I'm not a farmer.  No, we don't own cows.

But I really was out feeding the cows.  Our property line backs itself to an open field where cows are raised.  I've been trying to reconnect with my yard a little this week.  I've been pulling weeds, and I have a nice pile of them where the cows can reach them.  Usually within a few weeks of arriving, the cows know where the "extra food" is supplied.  So, now when they see me, they just come running.

I will admit it.  I like the attention.

And I sing to them.  at the top of my lungs.

They endure it for the sake of a snack.

And then I left to do something else.  And guess what?  They left also.  They were done eating, so they left.

And God gave me a word.  He is so faithful like that.

People, some people are just like cows.

When you stop feeding them, they leave.  When they see a better deal, they leave.  It's just like the multitudes who stopped following Jesus when the food was gone.  There were only a handful of men who were not looking for a handout.  The rest?  They found greener pastures.

For those of us who have served the Lord in a shepherding sense in one way or another, have all witnessed this.  Very few are faithful for the long term.  Many, if not most.. will (and should) outgrow your influence/input.  And then what do they do with you?

Some, like the cows, endure your singing.  Not because you are a good singer--but because they truly love you.  They appreciate you and what you have done.  They see the Lord and choose to stay and help with the work.  They agree to not follow "you" but God.  They become partners in the work.

Others, like the cows after a meal, just leave. The food is gone, and they are gone. They are the perpetual church hoppers.  Once the glitz and glam of meeting new people is over, they get bored and move on.  There's always something better and bigger and flashier..

And then we sit back.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy feeding the cows.  There is joy in the process.  There is joy in the toil.

Let us feed them.  Let us love them.  Whomever is in your sphere of influence, let us have joy in the process of feeding and loving them.

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