Friday, July 16, 2010

The Flock Moves to Higher Ground

Davidson Trail

Ps 18:33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

Hab 3:19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet,

and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. higher ground

Davidson Trail

It was spring and the sheep had to be moved to higher ground, to a pasture on top of an abruptly rising hill. There, the grass was young, tender, and un-trodden, with a large and rolling pasture that stretched for miles. A spring bubbled from the side of a rock precipice to form a brook that ran the length of the high pasture and emptied into the valley below. It was a goodly place for the sheep.

The shepherd stood at the top of a small rise, explaining the necessity of moving to higher ground. His instructions to the flock were clear and concise, leaving no room for misunderstanding. He would lead the way himself and I, his shepherdess, would act as rear guard, following behind to insure the safety of the flock. Rear picket duty was not my favorite position, but quite often, I found myself in that particular situation and it was certainly not by choice. Nevertheless, the move lay ahead and was necessary for grazing during the summer months.

We left the next morning; sheep, shepherd, and shepherdess. From my position at the rear, I watched the wooly procession as the shepherd climbed steadily upward, his staff raised, his form silhouetted against the skyline, clearly visible to the entire flock. Now and then, he spoke, encouraging the flock as they climbed. Some of the sheep followed obediently, not looking back, staying close to the shepherd. Others bleated pitifully, not wanting to leave the old and familiar, but despite their complaining, they followed along steadily enough, bleating as they climbed. Others lagged behind as if to protest the move, until a sharp word from the shepherd changed their mind and hurried them along.

From my position in the rear, I shooed the dallying sheep forward, those who lingered just beyond sight of the shepherd, hoping to find some pleasure along the way. They were not opposed to the move, just fooling around, hoping to discover some new adventure. The curious youngsters stopped every few minutes to butt one another or hide from his comrade behind a thicket, not considering that danger that might lurk in the shadows of the dense undergrowth. Again and again I brought the careless sheep back to the main flock, scolding them soundly for their indifference to danger. When at last the stragglers and I arrived at the higher pasture, the main flock were romping in the tall grass, forgetting that they had ever grumbled and complained about the difficulties of the climb or of moving to higher ground. Surely, this was a goodly place to be.

Davidson Trail

©2010 ruth ellinger