The strange thing about sheep is that because of their very makeup it is almost impossible for them to be made to lie down unless four requirements are met.
- Owing to their timidity they refuse to lie down unless they are free of all fear. In fact, nothing so quieted and reassured the sheep as to see the shepherd in the field.
- Because of the social behaviour within a flock, sheep will not lie down unless they are free from friction with others of their kind. (e.g. rivalry, tension, competition for status and self-assertion)
- If tormented by flies or parasites, sheep will not lie down. Similarly, in the Christian life, there are bound to be many small irritations, petty frustrations, and ever-recurring disagreeable experiences.
- Lastly, sheep will not lie down as long as they feel in need of finding food. They must be free from hunger. Green pastures did not just happen by chance. Green pastures were the product of tremendous labour, time, and skills in land use. Same goes for engaging and interesting lessons.
It is significant that to be at rest there must be a definite sense of freedom from fear, tension, agitation, and hunger.
In the Scriptures, the picture portrayed of the Promised Land, to which God tried so hard to lead Israel from Egypt, was that of a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Not only is this figurative language but also essentially scientific terminology. In agricultural terms, we speak of a “milk flow” and “honey flow.” The livestock that feeds on the forage and the bees that visit the blossoms are said to be producing a corresponding “flow” of milk or honey. So a land flowing with milk and honey is a land of rich, green, luxuriant pastures.
Are our classrooms a Promised Land for our children?
Is our community a Promised Land?
An excerpt from A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23