Sheep Have No Strategy

Sheep Have No Strategy

Sheep are perhaps one of the oldest sources for metaphors of human life. The Bible makes frequent references to sheep as God teaches us about who we are and who He is.

A recent week’s vacation at a cabin on a farm provided me with an opportunity to observe a flock up close and personally.


One of our sheep neighbors. We nicknamed him “Lambert.”

My wife and I remarked how the sheep appeared to have a rather amazing work ethic: but for the very heaviest of downpours, they kept to their singular task: munching grass. Hour after hour, they labored away, doing what they were meant to do, lying down to rest when needed, and scurrying over to the farmer when he made his appearance at the gate.

I was especially intrigued about the way they went about their lawn mowing duties. I would watch the sheep graze in a particular area of the field for a few minutes, but when I checked on them an hour later, they were in a completely different section of grass, completely disconnected from where they were previously munching. The field became spotted with tufts of grass that had been nibbled and those that had been ignored. There appeared to be no rhyme or reason to the sheep’s approach to their grazing duties. It was as if they merely followed the wind, and then hopped, skipped, and jumped their way around the field, eating without any particular system or plan.

My conclusion: sheep have no strategy.

They just do what they were meant to do, without concern for achieving maximum output for minimal input. They seem unbothered by patchy results. I never once saw them confer together about the best way to go about the day’s task. They just stood up from their places of rest, and sometimes began munching right away, sometimes took a few steps to graze over here, and at other times they would walk to the other end of the field entirely! Plenty of grass within reach, why meander so far?

Unlike us, the sheep seem to focus simply on the task at hand. They know what they are to do, and they do it.

How often do we favor planning and discussion over actually doing the work that God has for us? Sure enough, the Bible does warn us to take account of things before jumping blindly into a project which we will be unable to finish (Luke 14:27-33), nor to take lightly our commitment to Christian faith and relationship with God. But once we do know what God would have us do, perhaps we should be a little more sheep-like and not paralyze ourselves with debate about how to do the work. Rather, like the sheep, we should, in faith, just do it.

After all, we have the Good Shepherd leading us.

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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Life, Theology


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Look at me: no more vanity!

My last post, on Feb 27, was an exercise in ego: I couldn’t bear to interrupt my perfect record of blogging something at least once a month ever since I began in August 2011. And so, I fed my vanity with a rather vacuous entry.

It’s now May 1st, and as I look at the Previous Posts archive on this site, there is no entry for April 2014.

I’ve done it! I let go of the obligation and the ego, and didn’t post anything. I resisted the urge to satiate my vanity once again. From now on, forever, there will be a hole; the streak has been broken.

I’m healed!

Or have I merely replaced (upgraded, downgraded?) my vanity with pride? Have I set aside ego for some sort of minor rebellion, some kind of subtle manipulation?

The facts that I have noticed my “victory,” the truth that I waited until today in order to preserve my absent April, assure me that my sense of self is alive and well, perhaps a little too “healthy,” obese from having gorged on itself without respite for even a single month.

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Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Life


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This is a Vanity Post

I haven’t blogged for some time here (more than a month!), so perhaps it’s not surprising that I don’t have much to say.

So what is this post about, then?

There’s a little dropdown box in the right hand margin of this blog site which allows you to quickly find posts from previous months. Currently, it shows at least one entry from every month since August 2011 when I first began blogging.

Well, February is almost over, and I realized that if I didn’t post something, then there would forever be a gap in this list, with no entries for Feb 2014.

So, I’m writing this post really out of vanity, or OCD, or something.

It’s been a neat journey to see what role blogging fulfills. In some seasons of life, the need for creative outlet or the processing of ideas takes places well here. In others, like more recently for me, I’ve been finding creative release via photography (expressed on Flickr and FB) and opportunities for contemplating life by engaging in conversation in community and regular journaling.

Thus, at the moment, my blog has sat idle. And I think that’s okay. And if some future season warrants utilizing it again, it’ll be here.

If nothing else, I may well be back in less than 30 days, just to keep my monthly archive up-to-date…unless, of course, I finally grow out of my silly little vanities.  🙂


I have been marginally more active on my other blog:

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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Life


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