It wasn’t until I moved out to the country that I learned how big sheep can get and how stubborn they can be. My image of sheep was always the cute, little, hurt lamb Jesus had flung over His shoulder taking it back home. That or Mary’s little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. I now know that their fleece usually is not white as snow or very soft, for that matter, either.
When Jesus refers to himself as the Good Shepherd, I can appreciate the wonderful imagery, but I really do not understand all the ins and outs of being a shepherd. I now believe it is much harder than I originally supposed it to be. Perhaps, the closest thing I can compare it to is raising teenagers! Or taking 3 or more toddlers to the Walmart! There have been times I have wished for a sheepdog. Still, in our country, in our day in time, shepherding is kind of a lost art.
I remember back in college, my English professor gave the assignment of rewriting the 23rd Psalm in more modern, relevant language. Now, I do not suppose to ever perfect upon God’s perfectly written Word. But I understood the purpose of the assignment. If our Lord was to speak to me in terms to which I could totally relate, to what would He compare Himself?
As an 18 year old beach-bum wanna-be, surfing was my thing. If only Jesus could be my surf master. Ahh, that would be the life. Below is the (slightly revised) result of that assignment (Valley girl lingo was very much in style then, if I must date myself, so I have updated some of the lingo).
The 23rd Psalm
written not by a shepherd boy turned king, but a beach bum wanna-be surfer girl
The Lord is my Surfer;
I won’t miss a rad wave.
In beautiful sandy beaches, we stake our boards;
into barrels, He leads me;
my soul catches air.
He takes me to where the waves are cranking
for He is Awesome.
Even though I get locked in,
I ain’t clucked, for You bail me out.
On Your board with your hand outstretched
I am still amped.
You spread the swells before me
in the sight of all these hodads.
You wax up my board;
the waves are firing.
Only charging and carving will I experience
until I kick out;
I will have an epic day with my surfer
in an endless summer.
Admittedly, it loses some of it majesticness in my translation (understatement of the year). Still, it speaks to me, in a Message Bible sort of way!
So how about you? If you had to rewrite the 23rd Psalm, what would Jesus be to you? Try it out. You may see Jesus is a different light.
Copyright 2017 Kelly Guest