A Sheep in Solitude – Why I chose the name?
Sheep In Solitude
The words “Sheep in Solitude” are an oxymoron, Sheep are naturally part of a flock, a group that naturally stay together, move together graze together, they are not loners, they are not in solitude… So why did I come up with the name for my website?
It’s more an image of me as a person. I have no siblings, no living parents, but I do have a wonderful daughter, married to the best caring man and 3 beautiful grandchildren… the perfect scenario for any father
I sometimes felt like the “Black Sheep” of my family, always managing to be on the wrong end of anyone’s trouble. It’s easy to be the Black Sheep, everyone thinks you are and so instead of fighting it you accept it. Carry on your life with this “tag” attached to you. Of course it does have a lasting effect on the way you go about your life…. But eventually, maybe a short time, but in my case, a long time, you eventually say “That’s enough!!”
As the Chinese calendar has animals as its characters each year, 1955 was the year they chose the Sheep. 1955 The Year of the Sheep, I didn’t know this until I was into my late 50’s! So I am not sure this particular Far Eastern fact had any bearing. But, there can be no doubt that I do feel most comfortable and at ease when I am in the Far East.
In 2015 I went to the Philippines on a Ministry Trip, to help Children, Orphaned Street Kids, Babies, all living in abject poverty, but, they were incredibly happy. Wanting only to have enough food to sustain life, their surroundings their “homes” (sometimes just tarpaulins or tin) was all they had to call home. (You can read these blogs here on my blog page)
Having walked back into the “Christian family” it was going to be my new way of life, actively seeking a better life, but one that I would still be surrounded by solitude. I live in the countryside, even tho in a City, but it’s not a big City, in fact it’s the smallest city in England. Within minutes I can be in the countryside, even walking it is possible to be with sheep, the animals and wildlife, where I feel most at home.
Sheep need a shepherd , we were the sheep and Jesus was the shepherd… The Parable of the sheep tells us how every sheep is as important as the rest of the flock.
The parable of the lost sheep was told by Jesus when the Pharisees criticised Him for socialising with sinners. Through this story of compassion, Jesus revealed his rescue mission for sinners.
Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.”
So the shepherd knew the 99 sheep in the flock were safe, and that he would search and search for the lost sheep , to save it….. He was not angry at the sheep but rejoiceful that he had found the sheep to return to the flock
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent’” (Luke 15:3-7).
The parable of the lost sheep also illustrates Christ’s attitude toward the saved sinner. The parable gives no indication of the shepherd ever rebuking. Instead, he hoists the sheep upon his shoulders and takes it home. An adult sheep may weigh anywhere from 110 to 125 pounds.
It would be no small effort to carry one over the shoulder. For joy over finding that which was lost, the shepherd bears the discomfort. Likewise, Jesus bore the weight of our sins upon the cross.
Sheep by their nature are silly, funny animals, and I guess that is another similarity to the sheep, I like to be silly, do daft things, make people laugh. To see the newly born lambs bouncing as they run to be with their mother, that is a funny sight to behold.
My reason for calling my website “Sheep in Solitude” is actually because thats how my life is, mainly in solitude. I live alone and have been on my own for the last 4 years or so, and off and on for the last 20 years. I am happy being alone, I don’t get bored with my own company. I have friends, and I have my family and grandchildren albeit they are 20 miles away, and, with the current “Pandemic” I haven’t seen them for weeks.. I last worked on 21st February, so have been in self Isolation and self distancing for over 9 weeks. I have the Radio programme, The Sunday Hour, that takes up a lot of time, and for me the Self Isolation hasn’t really been too bad. I have my church, The Seed, and we get together on Zoom twice a week and our Pastor, Julian Richards, Live Streams a “sermon” each Sunday morning. We are a close church “Family” Our Pastor is our shepherd
You see, I am a Sheep in Solitude, but I have missed having the physical contact with my family every week, usually twice a week.
I am a Sheep, I like Solitude…… but am still part of his Flock
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
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