The other day, Mr. M was watching a program on different types of dogs. As he told me what he had learned, my little brain went into overdrive when he explained the characteristics of border collies. The one thing that jump-started my muse was this…
Border collies guide sheep with their eyes.
I went straight to Google and found some very interesting facts.
Border collies are bred to gather, not drive, sheep. They have the ability to control a herd without the use of force. With almost hypnotic precision, they maintain intense eye contact with the sheep, while darting in and out to guide them with uncanny timing and precision.
These herding dogs have the capability to master any type of herd. They will also anticipate the direction the herd is going to move and adjust its movements accordingly. They can adjust their pace to be in sync with the sheep or other herd.
Good herding dogs control sheep with calm authority and without excessive commotion. Sometimes, though, a stubborn sheep will not follow directions and the border collie’s natural instinct is to slowly increase its tactics to herd the sheep into obeying his desires.
The dog will then try barking to gain the sheep’s attention. If barking does not work, the dog will nip at the sheep’s feet and eventually bite them to get his point across.
When the collie gets the sheep where they belong, he relaxes and joins in with them.
All these characteristics elicit respect, not fear, from the sheep.
Did you see it? Did you see the similarities of how the Lord works?
* gathers His sheep; He does not drive them, “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.” (Jer. 23:3 NKJV)
* has the ability to control His sheep without force, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29 NKJV)
* maintains intense eye contact, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Ps. 32:8 NKJV)
* anticipates which direction we are going and adjusts His movements accordingly, “And if you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a Voice behind you say, ‘No, this is the way; walk here.” (Is. 30:21 TLB)
* has uncanny timing and precision, for “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl. 3:11a NKJV), and “His way is perfect.” (2 Sam. 22:31 NKJV)
* controls with calm authority: “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’” (Mark 4:39 NKJV)
* will increase His tactics if a stubborn sheep does not obey, “For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.” (Heb. 12:6 NLT)
* relaxes and joins in with His sheep when they are where He wants, “And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.” (John 6:3 NKJV)
* elicits respect not fear from His sheep. Jesus told a parable that represented the Father, saying, “I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will show respect for him.” (Luke 20:13 TLB)
When these characteristics of the Lord collided with my gray matter (uh, the inner kind), an awesome sense of gratitude rushed over me as I read each one.
I prayed as David did, “Keep me as the apple of Your eye.” (Ps. 17:8a NKJV) Or as it would say with its expanded definitions, “Hedge me about as with thorns, guard and protect me as the little man or daughter of Your eye.” Or as The Message states it, “Keep Your eye on me.”
God keeps His eye on all His children; none escapes His attention. He will keep eye contact with them…when they look up to Him!