I am blessed with an abundance of people that God has put in my life. These include people within my family, within my church and within my life as a whole. Every single one of them is important to God and ought to be more important to me.
Last Wednesday the C.R.E.W. met at my home. We briefly referenced the story of the Shepherd and the Sheep. In this passage we hear of the Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep for the one.
He left the 99 that were found to find the one that was lost. That’s a concept in and of itself that really isn’t conventional wisdom. Who would leave 99 perfectly good sheep to go after one that is somewhere in the hills, maybe even one that wandered off itself.
Let’s face it, we love hanging around with the “found”…with our peeps…the ones that are just like us…that accept us and look just like us…that know our language, our likes and dislikes. I’m comfortable with my people…the found, just like me. But I have forgotten that I haven’t always been found. In fact, just being considered “found” means that I once wasn’t…I once was lost.
The interesting thing about this parable (and the one that follows about the woman who swept her house clean to find that one lost coin) is that the statistics are wrong. 99% is where we want to put our energy. No one thinks of a dime, when they have a dollar. This is what we are taught and how we end up living our life. But it all comes back around when we realize that the lost sheep is us..we were the 1%. The lost coin is us, just worth a fraction.
As church folk we become such a tight knit group and become comfortable. They are all around us. We don’t have to get down on our hands and knees and sweep the whole living room clean to find that coin. We don’t have to journey that far out of town to find those sheep who are lost and caught up in briar patches. There they are.
The bottom line for me on this is that I need more of the heart of the Father. My heart needs to break with the things that break the heart of God…that’s the lost. He loves the found and cares for us deeply, but He longs for the lost to become found.