Proverbs 27:23 (the message)
Know your sheep by name;
carefully attend to your flocks...
Today I have done a little soul-searching. Really, I have just been seeking God for clarity and answers to questions about my life. As I sat at McDonald’s, alone!, with my sweet tea and Bible open before me, I stopped at this verse for a bit.
For me, this verse raised a question in my own heart. Who is the “flock” God has given me? Well, I could answer that easily right off the top of my head and honestly the answer would probably lean toward volunteers and volunteer leaders at my church. But I sensed in my heart a deeper question. Who is the “first” flock given to me…the flock God is telling me to carefully attend…the sheep I need to know by name? I know, for me, the answer is my family…my children.
As I really thought about this, I asked myself what carefully attending to my children really means? What does a mother, carefully attending her “flock,” look like? I suspect the answer lies between managing my sheep vs. investing in my sheep. What does a mother investing in her flock look like? How, I asked myself, does a mom carefully attend her first flock? Some answers that came to mind and heart: being fully engaged, peaceful, joyful, patient, full of wisdom and humble.
As I continued on reading in Proverbs I stopped several times to write down some tough questions for myself. See, the investing in my flock thing…the joy, peace, and wisdom…the recognition between managing and engaging my children could be daunting issues. Carefully attending my sheep could seem impossible. Except…it’s not. And I believe when Jesus and I have a “come-to-Jesus” meeting (smile) it is well worth hearing what He may have to say about my life…my investing habits…how “full of care” I am for my first flock.
See, one day I will be old and gray. I will look back on my years and peer out over time to catch a glimpse of my legacy. For now, the little hands and voices that clamor non-stop for my attention may seem easier to “manage” while I “invest” in others but theirs will be the only names on my lips at the end. God wants to love others through me. He wants me to be His hands and feet. I truly believe this. But in the end, if my legacy of love and “careful attention” is not blazing and bright in the lives of my children and grandchildren, then I suspect I will have missed the mark.
Lord Jesus, I am so thankful for my sweet sheep…Rivers, Leah and baby girl Dorsey yet to be named! I thank you for the questions you raise in my heart and the light you shine as I pray for clarity. I fully recognize that investing in my children, rather than managing them, is something I will only live out as I am filled with your Spirit. Touch my heart, open my eyes, rearrange my life…all I have is from You.