This past week I have been learning the intricacies of shepherding as a metaphor for leadership. It is fascinating to see how God has used this leadership mechanism as His mode of leading people.
One of the interesting passages comes from Ezek. 34:20-21.¶ “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, ”
In our culture we want to be the “big dog” (metaphor mixed intentionally) with the biggest home, biggest car, office and church. However in pursuing this we loose focus of the impact it can have on other’s in our lives. If we keep pushing forward without regard to those around us we are going to get stuck quick.
Our professor showed us this picture of a baby ewe trapped in the ram’s horns because the shepherd had failed to keep the rams out of the pen during feeding time. LINK to Copyrighted Image
The ram was doing what it instinctively would have done–going for food. Yet because it was in the wrong place it was causing unintentional collateral damage (and was probably annoyed that this little ewe had gotten in his way).
If we keep on butting our way through life we may end up a fattened sheep, but very lonely in the process. If, however, we look around us to the other folks in our places of influence and see how we can nurture or protect them we will find a deeper meaning for our life.
Because where the rams are most effective is when the flock is on the move, and the tale position on the edges of the flock standing between their ewes and the wilderness.
Where are you? Constantly fighting for what you want? Or protecting the greater flock of people you have been placed to lead?
The professor’s work can be accessed at http://www.shepherdleader.com…great resource!