We Want To Be Cats, But We’re Sheep

Maybe I should have titled this post, “I want to be among the cats, but I‘m just one of the sheep.” After all, should I be speaking for you?

I’m a little irritated right now at Facebook because they dare to speak for me — or more accurately, to think for me — by selecting what they deem to be my “Top Stories.” But they’re no different than Google+ who has determined what other G+ users I would most likely want to invite into my circles.

I think these social networking sites have taken their cue from cars that not only give you directions, but might park for you and change braking capacity in the rain. Those with alarm systems tell you (loudly) when something untoward is near.

The problem is, I’d rather think for myself. I like driving and don’t really appreciate being told to put on my seat belt. I like choosing my own routes and think map reading is a good skill to have.

But more than that, I don’t want to be told who my friends should be or what posts I should want to read. I want to think for myself and kind of assumed everyone else felt the same way (which is why I say “we” in the title, but I realize I am sort of playing the role of Facebook by doing so).

Perhaps this desire for independence is part of American Rugged Individualism we hear so much about — some of which I believe. I mean, for people to pull up stakes and move across an ocean or to a foreign land where few people speak your language, you have to have a bit of individualism in you, I think.

And no matter how short or how long an American’s ancestors have been here, there is some value-passing that has preserved that spirit of going it alone against great odds.

However, I think there’s some of this independent spirit in all Mankind. It’s not actually a good thing, either. It’s our desire, like small children do with their parents, to tell our Father that we can do it on our own.

In spite of all this drive for independence, though, we — and this is the right pronoun this time — end up like sheep. Scripture says so. Besides Isaiah 53 that says, “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (v. 6a), Jeremiah paints a picture I think reflects our world today:

My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the mountains;
They have gone along from mountain to hill
And have forgotten their resting place. (Jeremiah 50:6)

The passage originally referred to the Jewish people, but since all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to see Gentiles in the same light — as sheep who are lost, who have shepherds leading them astray.

Now cats — they don’t let anyone lead. They don’t allow for herding. They scatter whithersoever they desire. But us sheep, we go where we ought not go just because everyone else is going there. We don’t always even notice where it is we’re going because we’re not paying all that much attention.

This is why we need a Good Shepherd. Cats, though, even if they had a Good Shepherd, would still go their own way. Eventually they’d end up high in a tree and too scared to climb down, too ornery to let anyone near enough to help them. Maybe being a sheep isn’t so bad. 😀

Published in: on October 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm  Comments (3)  
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