Again, I am so blessed to have people in my life that display what it looks like to follow hard after Jesus in such practical and humble ways. I’m glad to have my brother in Christ and friend, Shep Schaefer, share what sojourning with the Good Shephard looks like. Thank you, brother for this guest post. I hope you are encouraged as much as I was.
This is what a good day looks like.
To put it simply, on a good day, I walk with my Lord. Poorly. Feebly. Wanderingly. I’m a slow, easily distracted sheep. I fall behind. I catch up. I fall behind. But I hear my Shepherd, and I tumble after him.
To put it simply, on a good day, I talk with Jesus like a friend (John 15:15). I say, from my knees, “Good morning, Jesus. Let’s spend the day together, please.”
On a good day, I thank Him for little things. I don’t want a million dollars. I want a nail that goes in straight on the first try, and when that happens, I thank Him. Did he guide my hand? I don’t know. But he made me, fearfully and wonderfully, and He made the iron in the nail, and I’m thankful.
On a good day, I hear a voice that tells me, don’t complain that someone left dirty dishes in the sink. Rejoice that you have dishes to wash. Rejoice that you get to serve others, in a tiny, imperfect image of the way Jesus came to serve you and everyone else.
On a good day, I hear a voice before I speak, and kind words come out of my mouth, instead of grumpy, irritated words.
On a good day, sweating in the heat over some work, I feel a breeze, and I think of the Holy Spirit, the Helper. Not that I think He sent the breeze to cool me down, though maybe that’s the case. He does love me, after all, and I believe that God is in this world. I don’t believe in a Great Geometer who set things in motion and then left it all alone. So maybe He sends a breeze to make me think of Him. Maybe not. But either way, on a good day, I do think of Him. I remember that the Creator of the very universe loves me, and not in some abstract way. He knows me, and—despite that—He loves me, and I’m thankful.
On a good day, I have a hymn in my head. On a good day, the odds-and-ends happenings of life make me think of scripture. On a good day, I see a sparrow, and I think about Jesus saying that one shall not fall to the ground without the Father, and I am of more value than many sparrows (Matt 10:29-31).
On a good day, I’m a soldier for Christ. I obey orders. I do what I’m told, not out of fear, but because I want to do what I’m told, because I find deep joy in doing things His way. I want to follow Jesus, my captain. I want to be like Joshua and ask, “What saith the Lord unto his servant?” (Joshua 5:13-15)
On a good day, I am a child, humble, obedient, teachable.
On a good day, I follow my shepherd. I hear His voice, and I know it. He calls me by my name, and I hear him, and I follow.
That’s what a good day looks like.
On the other days, I’m the one in charge. I’m a grown-up, not a child. I’m the commander, the shepherd of my own life. Or at least I act like I am. I worry about the dishes and the bills, and I worry about this world as if I belong here, as if this is my home. I’m a little lily of the field, imagining that my toiling and my spinning clothe me (Matthew 6:25-35). On those days, I don’t talk to Jesus except just before meals and at bed time. Jesus is with me, as always, but I am far, far away.
Lord, Jesus, my Savior, my shepherd, my commander, let all my days be good days. Fill them with dirty dishes and bills and bent nails as you see fit, but fill my heart and my mind and all my soul with a hunger for you.