Bible Verse: If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? Matthew 18:12

Scripture Reading: Psalm 23:1-6

I have never tried to guide sheep, but I have volunteered in children’s ministry and hosted kid’s birthday parties. I can’t help but think there must be some similarities.

When my son Ray was turning 6, we had a birthday party at the bowling alley. In the midst of the chaos I realized I couldn’t see him anywhere. I checked the lanes, the washroom, the arcade and even outside. There was no sign of him anywhere. A knot was growing in my stomach and the adrenaline was starting to flow when he wandered around the corner from a room he had been exploring. I calmly brought him back to the lanes and told him not to wander off again without permission. Then I tried to relax while supervising all the other kids at the party. I was glad when the whole thing was over.

Sheep, like sugar crazed kids, have a tendency to wander. Distracted by the sight of better grass or the sound of water, sheep will roam away from the herd and run the risk of eventually walking so far, they become lost. For a shepherd the task of keeping the herd together and finding the lost is a constant concern.

I know as an adult I am sometimes more like a sheep than I would like to admit. My thoughts wander. I start to daydream about the things I would buy if I won the lottery. I glance a little too long at an attractive lady at the mall. I get angry with my children. I start complaining…

And Jesus my shepherd comes to find where I have wandered to. The Holy Spirit gently whispers to my conscience and I ask my Heavenly Father for forgiveness.

The Lord is my shepherd…

— Jeff Stearns, Promise Keepers Canada

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