Monday, July 14, 2014

Working Toward the Grand Prize

I know not everyone raises show sheep so this blog may be one you skip, but it is the apex of our showing season and I am consumed by sheep and shows. This week is county fair for our grandson and all-consumed father and grandfather. I just take pictures and marvel at how a judge can tell the sheep apart and select a winner.

Back in January the lambs were wobble-legged with long wavy tails and dark curly wool. They learned to find the source of nutrition (their mamas) and to stay back when mama goes to lie down. They watched mama eat hay so they began to nibble on hay and one day they found a trough of tiny pellets to chew on. They also were joined by playmates of all different sizes and mamas, lots of big mamas.

The way we learn isn't so different from sheep really. It is trial and error and hopefully enough successes to keep us healthy and growing strong. It's that way in our faith, as well. We are bottle fed the Word in Sunday School, children's books, and words of our parents and pastors. It begins to form us into humans who care about other people and we begin to learn about having a relationship with Christ. We stumble and fall some and we grow stronger and wiser.

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good" (I Peter 2:2 NIV).

The show sheep have learned to walk with a halter, hold their heads up high in a sheep stand, walk in circles on the merry-go-round, and keep pace on the treadmill (yes, a sheep treadmill). They are hand fed appropriate amounts of feed to establish the perfect silhouette and exercised to achieve appropriate muscling. Wish someone would do that for me!

Actually the Holy Spirit does that for us if we look to Him for guidance and help. By seeking His Word and studying the life of Christ we are given the opportunity to become more like Him. Each day we can choose to do what Jesus would do, to pray to Him and to listen, and one day we will look into His eyes, face to face, and be awarded the grand champion prize.

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).

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