Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Barking Versus Bleating

I've had the book for a long time. It was first published in 1983 but I believe it came to me well over ten years ago - - no doubt a gift from someone wanting me understand more about my own sheepness. I've read it at least once; perhaps twice. Yet when I picked it up this morning I found myself enthralled with something I'd not really given much thought to before.

All the while I've been bleating when I ought to have been barking.

Let me explain.

First, this is not a book review; nor am I promoting one. It just happens that this particular work has tutored me more than once. And, as they (who are they(1) anyway?) say: When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

I must have been ready, because today my tutor is a Border Collie.

The scriptures often portray believers as sheep individually; flocks collectively. How appropriate! Thus I've often nodded in recognition of the similarities in attributes (mostly in other people; probably the theys). A few include the fact that sheep are:
  • Not real bright (a polite way of saying dumb)
  • Given to gluttony (they eat so much that when they
    lie down they can't get up again)
  • Likely to mindlessly wander away from the flock
  • Trusting beyond belief
  • Often oblivious to danger
  • Cute

OK, I just tossed in cute.

I doubt that I've ever really given much thought to the role and function played by the sheep dog. Mostly I've concentrated on sheep, and sometimes even a few goats.

Now I'm beginning to comprehend (which is different than plain old knowing) just how vital is the sheep dog in the life and health of the flock. Seems, too, that any mutt will do provided it has a sheep dog's heart and a love for its master. What's more, a good sheep dog doesn't have to like the sheep so long as it (he/she) loves the Master.


The lessons are further issued from there, which means I probably need to spend a lot more time with my Master. Surely there's more to this tail tale I need to glean.


(1) In the case of this particular quote, it is actually an ancient Buddhist Proverb



Beth E. said...

I have been a baaaaa-ad girl, guilty of living like a sheep on too many occasions! Hmmm...I believe we have a copy of that book. I may have to look for it and read it for myself!

Have a great week!

Denise said...

Wow, what a great post sweetie. I will be thinking on this one for awhile, thank you.

Debbie said...

I remember reading this book some time ago. At least, I remember the part about the sheep eating and laying down and can't get up. LOL. But so many lessons to be learned from this analogy.

It has been so nice connecting with you. And I have Lisa to thank for that. I'll be back.

Melinda said...

Oh, the humble, LOYAL, sheepdog. Thanks for throwing me this "bone"...there's a lot to "chew". :o)


Runner Mom said...

I've never seen that book...but I will be on the lookout for it! You gave us some good things to chew on! (SORRY!)


skoots1mom said...

many times i feel more like a goat...unworthy to be in God's herd of sheep :)

Diana said...

I'll admit I have never seen the book. I guess I had better find a copy though. As you said, I have always thought about the sheep, but not the dog.

Thanks for this post,

Heart2Heart said...

This is a super cute book! I will be a sheep because if I get lost, I know my shepherd will look for me. He knows His sheep and His sheep know their master!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL I remember this book but never rad it. thank you for the insights again and have a really special day!

christy rose said...

You truly make me think deeply and laugh too!

Rosezilla said...

Oh, I love this book! My husband's grandmother gave it to us years ago. It is really well done and makes me think. I am compiling a list of 100 books for the Christian to read and after the first 66 that are obviously the books of the Bible, I am trying to find out others that have helped people (like Mere Christianity, or Pilgrim's Progress, for instance). I wonder if this one should be on the list?

Technonana said...

Gotta find this book... this 'old dog' needs to learn some new tricks!!

RCUBEs said...

Sister Lisa is right that you are a woman of wisdom. I'm glad she invited you to post in her site...

Ouch! Your descriptions of sheep stabs my heart! Truth hurts as we know! Thanks for the mercy of calling me "cute". :)

Sassy Granny, I was blessed by your visit and encouraging comment. I'll come by here again and hopefully barking louder, not bleating! God bless you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Only you can weave this thread...

Howling at the moon tonight!


~*Michelle*~ said...

Ouch. This stepped on my toes.....but in a good kinda "ouch". Yeah, I needed this.

LisaShaw said...

Oh boy! I see myself all in the sheep.

I came to the end of your post and said, "uh more please?"

I may have to get the book!

You always bless me.

I'm laying (unable to get up) at the feet of my Master. Thankfully He's a loving Shepherd that helps me to get up even if he has to role me over and give me a shove (smile).

I love you.