Week 32 Wednesday

Life in the Pasture

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 93-95

Key verses: Psalm 95:6-7

As a pastor I have always loved these verses from Psalm 95:

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”

In our fast-paced, “act now or you’ll lose your chance” world, it may be difficult – or even un-appealing to think about being part of a “flock”.  Many of us are much more comfortable picturing ourselves out there, “ahead of the pack”, taking decisive action; meeting our goals.  And even those of us who take life slower and easier – well, we still like our independence.

But God calls us to gather with the fellow members of his flock, peacefully; quietly resting under His watchful care.  Remember another Psalm?  The one we most often hear at funerals?

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want….”

It’s the still waters He calls us to enjoy.  And, when we walk through “dark valleys” He wants to be with us.

Does it mean we can’t be productive or goal-oriented?  Does it mean we can’t enjoy using our brains; our talents to achieve?  I don’t think so.  There are plenty of scriptures about the dangers of laziness.  That’s what the deadly sin of sloth is all about.

But I do think that God gave a shepherd king named David a wonderful vision of what life can be like under the Good Shepherd’s watchful eye.  And when that king penned words about being a joyful member of the flock – it was a wonderful gift indeed.

So, no matter how busy you are, no matter what you want to accomplish on any given day – remember to spend some time happily munching the green grass in God’s pasture.

You, and He, will be glad you did.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your watchful, loving, guiding care.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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