He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
Lonely business, shepherding. Unless you happen to like the company of dozens of sheep and their doggy guards. Then it becomes just the right kind of fellowship–though a bit vocal, maybe somewhat wayward, with a tendency to decide their own path unless constantly supervised and guided. It really is a labor of love.
There is one truth about sheep: if there is meadow to graze and they sense safety in numbers with their protectors near, they are pretty content.
I’m definitely more sheep than shepherd, hungry to be fed and happy to keep my nose down in the pasture, very glad to be part of a larger body, though at times still skittish enough to make a run for it on my own if I lose my bearings. Then the shepherd has to haul me back into the flock again, reminding me where I belong, and from where my sustenance comes. Alone, on my own, I’m coyote fodder.
Might I gradually become more shepherd than sheep someday? Becoming more caretaker than cared over, to feed others rather than be fed?
If I ever do, I won’t think of it as labor, but rather see it as a privilege, a gift of love.