Lacking as a Shepherd

Give a shepherd’s care to the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, as God wants… Do not lord it over the group which is in your charge, but be an example for the flock. 1 Peter 5:2-3

Photo Courtesy of

The Friday before February school vacation was a sunup to sundown day of packing for me. We were headed to Florida for the week. My husband had gone ahead to spend more time with his parents who snowbird there. I was left behind to prep our house for our absence, and pack for my three kids and me. Looming over it all was the 4 a.m., scheduled wake-up the next day to make our flight.

As all moms know, packing is overwhelming, especially if you’re a control freak like me. I tend to pack everything but the kitchen sink. I feel compelled to anticipate everyone’s needs, and have all the necessaries on hand to be the hero saving the day. But being a super-hero packer is endless work, and pretty much a thankless job. By evening, I was growing resentful.

So I called a Family Meeting that night, under the guise of reviewing the plan for the next day.

Before reviewing the game plan, I flat out told my kids that I’d spent all day packing while they were at school. I went on to outline what each person needed to do the next morning to get us out of the house by 4:30 a.m., but I made sure to keep injecting more of what I’d already done to prepare us. Basically, I was selling them on the idea that I was amazing, and they should be worshiping me. My kids know the drill, and they were kissing my feet by the end of the meeting.

So, when I read 1 Peter 5:2-3 during my prayer time while in Florida, it felt as if it had been written for me. Although I’d started out the packing process “gladly,” as my offering to my family, it most assuredly became a “duty.” And oh did I ever “lord it over” them. I used it like a weapon to keep them in line during our travel day, and I used it as a pedestal to stand on so they’d be looking up to me in adoration for the week.

It makes me realize just how much I should be worshiping Jesus. He never once looked at His purpose as a duty. He never once used it to lord over anyone. He knew He was giving up His life for us and still, He lowered Himself to kneel and wash His disciples’ feet, begged the people He healed not to tell anyone, and extended only love when people rejected Him. I can’t even pack for a day without considering myself a martyr! How pathetic!

And so it continues: this journey of being humbled every time I exalt myself. One of these days, after getting knocked from my self-erected pedestal over and over again, I’ll finally figure out that God wants me stay where I land, on my knees. It’s from that stance He wants me to watch over the flock He’s entrusted to me.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Do I view my role of parent with gladness? Or do I see it as a duty?
  • Do I ever lord my position over my kids? Or do I use it to be an example?

Jesus never once looked at His purpose as a duty. He never once used it to lord over anyone.

2 thoughts on “Lacking as a Shepherd

  1. This was so funny and so applicable–to me!! Who doesn’t love having their halo shined (even when it’s done by ourselves!) I need many more callouses on my knees, and this truly brought that home.
    Thank you again, Claire, for reminding me of what is so easily forgotten!! xoxo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s