I’m taking to this blog thing perhaps with a little bit too much comfort. I don’t even update my private blog this often. I might attribute it to my sessions of debate and such with my brothers and sisters in the Matters of the Soul section of the Blessed Resistance message boards. No matter the cause, I have been thinking about this for quite some time, so I’ll forgo toeing the line and just run right into this brick wall.
As God continues to work with me, something is becoming more abundantly clear. Through my reading I come to a passage that just sort of stuck in my heart and no matter wherever else I seem to roam in my Bible, I think about it. In my work with the youth on Wednesday nights, this sits there. When I met with Ben from Acts 2, I related this passage without even really thinking about it. Thankfully, Ben pointed it out. Well, I’ll quit beating a dead horse and show you what I’m referring to:
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of myFather who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
This is best illustrated in working with the youth at my church. The ones that are assigned to me are great, I have to guys in particular who actually make my job quite easy. We get along, we make fun of each other, we give each other a hard time. We have a couple of girls who are friends with each other from school, they stay to themselves mostly but don’t get in any trouble whatsoever. Then there is the one. He reminds me of several friends I had in high school, hell-bent [quite literally] on being himself and doing what he wants to do.
As a gift, I can discern what people are like and on really good occasions, there is a quiet ease that breathes through my soul and I feel no trepidation or fear in dealing with them. This one flies completely off my radar. He and I can connect as far as music, or at least we’ve tried. We run into a wall when I have to be the authority figure and chastise him for what he knows he shouldn’t be doing.
So, why do I bring this up? The answer is very simple. You could probably mention this to anybody who has ever picked up a bible but I don’t think a good percentage of us realize what it really means. Myself included because I don’t have any answers for how you attempt to reach the lost. I just know that I would gladly push aside all the other kids in that group to put that one kid, that one sheep, into the loving arms of our savior Jesus Christ. And as far as sheep goes, that makes me feel like the black one sometimes which is altogether too fitting and laughably so. Baaaa.
What does this look like for you? How often do you feel compelled to push aside the sheep around you to save that one, to throw it over your shoulder to bring it back and then throw a party for that one who has returned:
‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
I can personally relate that this sounds a lot easier than it really is. In my own personal struggles with this, I can’t say I’ve found a method that works sure fire. Not one fit and set path you can walk on, not veer to the left or the right, and save somebody. Where does one begin? I’m up for pointers and things of the like for sure.
I don’t pretend to know a lot, but I do know this. This is such a beautiful thing to me that it brings tears to my eyes. Sometimes, that’s how I know I’ve done something right.
I’ll leave you with some questions to ask yourselves as well. Who’s the one sheep in your life, my friends? And why are we still standing among the 99?