These times — that COVID-19 magnified —-have surely taught me how like a sheep I am. And I don’t mean cute and cuddly! I am skitterish and willful.
By that, I mean I can worry and wander — looking for a reassuring voice, who echos what I want to hear.
Now, Doug is one reassuring voice . . . mostly.
But he doesn’t know the conversations I have with myself. And that’s a good thing. See Emily Dickinson’s poem One Need Not Be a Chamber:
One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted – . . .
Ourself – behind ourself – Concealed –
Should startle – most….
Sheep that I am: Startle myself I do some days.
The most recent source of amazement is how little I know about all I thought I knew. But that’s a good thing. There may be nothing new under the sun, but that doesn’t mean I know it all.
I was taught civics in 9th and 12th grade; but do I know what the Constitution actually says? (See ICivics)
So, too, I was in four survey classes of American history. However, this past year showed me these overviews overlooked many people, places and things — or worse, misrepresented the history.
History ain’t what it is. It’s what some writer wanted it to be. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)
And just to be completely honest — I have no idea about “economics,” really — and so much to today is about the economy, stupid.
Yes, I had a class in it in college . . . one I barely passed.
All I know about economics is my father saying, “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” when I explained how the Great Society would make a difference.
Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes. ~Werner Finck
How then shall does an old sheep live?
Providentially, I got an answer from a piece by Frederick Buechner: check the Bible
Click the link with Buechner’s name, and you will see that how an old sheep can live isn’t as complicated as I like to make it.
Here are my steps today —
Quit bleating and Sing —
Over two hundred years ago two women better said what I feel:
Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me . . . and
I am Jesus’ Little Lamb.
The hymnodists show me how like a sheep I am — but, I can find better pasture, like Psalm 131, and Luke 15.
Why they wrote what they did, I don’t know; but these hymns are attitude adjusters helping me find my way back from the wilderness of wilfulness (Click to hear the author read)
. . .Let us rejoice before him, let him gather
The scattered tribes and nations back from all
The corners of the earth, and also from
The wilderness of willfulness. His call
To bring our lives, and our whole world to him
Resounds in all of us. Could we but hear,
Our Saviour, King and Shepherd calls us home. (O Come Let Us Sing: A Response To Psalm 95)