Wolves and Sheep

As somebody who grew up in the church environment, the topic of sheep was not a foreign concept to my upbringing. “All we like sheep” to “I just wanna be a sheep…” and a plethora of stories, parables, and object lessons involved the virtues of being a sheep. After all, sheep are fluffy and kind animals, who spend their lives peacefully grazing in the shadow of large trees and frolicing in golden meadows. The wolf is viewed as the ever-evil predator that is looking to ravage and eat the sheep.

In Hebrew scripture, there’s a term called “pardes” which is representation of an acronym, comprising of PRDS (pashat, remez, drash, sod). It’s the belief that there are four separate levels of understanding scriptures. The “Pashat” represents the ‘simple’ message. “Remez” represents the ‘hint’ in the message. “Drash” is the ‘search’. And “Sod” is the ‘hidden’ message in the scriptures.

If we take the concept of sheep-dom at only a surface level, it would appear to be an aspirational trait. However, if we begin to more closely examine the reality of the life of a sheep, we can see that they’re little more than prisoners to the shepherd. Worse, is these sheep often exist in self-imposed walls, as there are no walls or fences to keep them confined to an open field.

It’s a wonder that many people are surprised when they get bombarded by poor circumstances or life events. Rather than roaming free and in charge of their own lives, as a wolf will do, they remain in self-imposed custody of the proverbial shepherds that ultimately plan on eating the sheep once they’ve taken enough wool from their hides to turn a profit. One might say this is the “sod” we can find in the scriptures.

I believe nearly all of our choices in life can be narrowed down the the filter of love and fear. Our choices can be found with the single root of one of these elements. Are we making our choices out of love; a zealous thirst and passion for life that cannot be contained by self-imposed limitations, so we cannot help but burst free and live a vivacious life?

It seems there’s more societal virtue granted to the people who live their lives full of fear from the ‘wolves’ and who huddle themselves with the sheep next to them; avoiding the reality that they will eventually serve as the mutton being fed to the shepherd. Fear. Fear. Fear.

Having personally experienced the joy of breaking free from ‘sheep’ mentality in a worldview that had its foundations built in fear, I can tell you there is nothing more liberating than flipping the switch of your life perspective from that of fear to one of passionate love and freedom. Every day feels like a new opportunity to discover, grow, conquer and appreciate every good gift that life has to offer us.

It’s why I say “Every day gets better.”

Featured Image From Deviantart

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