The most valuable treasure God has entrusted a shepherd with, is his sheep. No sheep is perfect but if shepherd despises them or adopts a scornful outlook for them then he has already began his downward plunge into faith which if He does not repent instantly, may eventually find himself warring against God himself who is our Good Shepherd.
If sheep do not have the constant care of a shepherd, they will go the wrong way, unaware of the dangers at hand. They have been known to nibble themselves right off the side of a mountain..... And so, because sheep are sheep, they need shepherds to care for them. The welfare of sheep depends solely upon the care they get from their shepherd. Therefore, the better the shepherd, the healthier the sheep.
The old shepherd had died, or got drunk, or got rats, or got the sack, or a legacy, or got sane, or chucked it, or got lost, or found, or a wife, or had cut his throat, or hanged himself, or got into Parliament or the peerage anyway, anything had happened to him that can happen to an old shepherd or any other man in the bush, and he wasn't there.
By prolonged and continued fellowship, the sheep who follow nearby enjoy the shepherd's presence and become his familiar companions. To those closest to him, he shares the choicest portions of the food he's gathered. These happy and content sheep are never in danger. Why? Because they are near the shepherd!
The Lord called Himself and is the 'good Shepherd' (Jn. 10:11). If you believe in His guidance, then you will understand by your heart that as a zealous shepherd when feeding his flock does not allow the sheep to disperse, but gathers them together, so also the Lord pastures our souls, not allowing them to wander in falsehood and sins, but gathering them on the path of virtue, and not allowing the mental wolf to steal and scatter them.
John of Kronstadt
Shepherd Book: What are we up to, sweetheart? River: Fixing your Bible. Book: I, um... What? River: Bible's broken. Contradictions, false logistics - doesn't make sense. Shepherd Book: No, no. You-you-you can't... River: So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's ark is a problem. Shepherd Book: Really? River: We'll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat. Shepherd Book: River, you don't fix the Bible. River: It's broken. It doesn't make sense. Book: It's not about making sense. It's about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you.
Fundamentally, our Lord's message was Himself. He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He himself is that Gospel. He did not come merely to give bread; He said, "I am the bread." He did not come merely to shed light; He said, "I am the light." He did not come merely to show the door; He said, "I am the door." He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, "I am the shepherd." He did not come merely to point the way; He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
J. Sidlow Baxter
My times of silence before God are very important to me now. I put everything else down, every word away, and I am with the Lord. When I'm quiet, life falls into perspective for me. I have a very active mind and I'm a worrier, but in those moments when I choose to put that away, I rest beside the Shepherd in still places. Why don't you give yourself a gift today? Turn off the television or the car stereo, put down the newspaper or the business plan, and in the quietness, rest for a while beside the Shepherd of your soul.
The parent is the child's guide. This shepherding process helps a child to understand himself and the world in which he lives. The parent shepherds a child to assess himself and his responses. He shepherds the child to understand not just the "what" of the child's actions, but also the "why." As the shepherd, you want to help your child understand himself as a creature made by and for God. You cannot show him these things merely by instruction; you must lead him on a path of discovery. You must shepherd his thoughts, helping him to learn discernment and wisdom.
Quality is better seen up at the timberline than here obscured by smoky windows and oceans of words, and he sees that what he is talking about can never really be accepted here because to see it one has to be free of social authority and this is an institution of social authority. Quality for sheep is what the shepherd says. And if you take a sheep and put it up at the timberline at night when the wind is roaring, that sheep will be panicked half to death and will call and call until the shepherd comes, or comes the wolf.
Robert M. Pirsig
It is also said that the sheep heed the Shepherd, because they know his voice. Is it true that men recognize Christ's call and respond to it? In one sense it must be, for he has said so; yet much in me qualifies the statement. Actually I respond much more readily to the call of 'the others'; I neither really understand Christ's summons nor follow it. Therefore, in order that I may hear, he must not only speak, but also open my ears to his voice. Part of me, the profoundest part, listens to it, but superficial, loud contradiction often overpowers it. The opponents with whom God must struggle in order to win us are not primarily 'the others,' but ourselves; we bar his way. The wolf who puts the hireling to flight is not only outside; he is also within. We are the arch-enemy of our own salvation, and the Shepherd must fight first of all with us - for us.