Do you ever think of yourself as a leader?
We are called to lead others, no matter who we are or where we are. No one is too old or too young.
But I wonder how easy you find it really to take on leadership. It might be that you don’t feel like you are able. That people don’t really listen to you enough. Or that there is something else that disqualifies you from taking charge.
Peter compares leaders to shepherds of the flock. They are the ones who are to look to see that the sheep have all they need to grow and develop in life. They are to check that they are all there, and to go after those who aren’t.
Have you ever had any pets? I used to own some pet gerbils, who were great fun and really cute. Gerbils forever! But sometimes looking after them felt like hard work. You had to feed them, check their water bottle (and yes, we had one who chewed through the bottle, and must have got very wet in the process…) and clean them out every so often. It might have been a bit of a chore. But you didn’t do it because you had to do it. You did it because you loved the pets and you wanted them to live the best possible life there could be when you live in a cage chewing boxes all day.
Those gerbils, like it or not, depended on me for everything, and learned how to know when I was coming to feed them and give them a bit of a run in a sumo ball. I like to think they learned to recognise me. That’s what happens with a shepherd.
Just imagine if you were to lead people and help them to discover all they need from life, watching over them not to lord it over them but because you are willing and wanting to see them grow? Who might be someone you could lead, just like a shepherd leads sheep?
Lord God, thank you that you call us to be leaders. Thank you that you are the Good Shepherd willing even to lay down your life for the sheep. Help us to see how to lead others, just as you have led us today. Amen.
Who might be the people you can lead? Why not pray about it, and see how God wants you to lead them.