Do you ever hear a story or watch a movie, then read/watch it years later and have this a-hah moment, like you finally get what was going on? Well my a-hah moments lately have been with Jesus' parables about sheep and the shepherd.
I have heard the Gospel stories 100s of times, I've taught them in Sunday School, I've read them to myself in Bible study. I don't think I really ever got them though, until I moved onto the farm and the animals started to know me. The animals do know their master's voice. They hear it, they follow it, they know there is safety in it. There is trust in knowing that the master's voice means shelter and nourishment. They almost dumbly follow without even thinking about it. Isn't that how we are supposed to follow God? Are we supposed to follow the spirit within us without hesitation, trusting without repercussion that the master has our best interests in mind?
During Jesus' time there were many more agricultural workers than there are today, so the stories made sense to them. If he was around today, the fable might take the form of what did Siri say to do or there is something that knows you better than your google calendar. But in his time, he spoke to them about what they knew. And today unless you work with animals some of the meaning is lost in centuries of translation.
How are we shepherded? Do we follow dumbly like animals? Or does our mind become cluttered with the what ifs?