Sunday's reading from Ezekiel shows God as a shepherd - actively searching out the lost, bringing back the strays, binding up the injured, and healing the sick. That’s great if you’re lost, injured, sick, but what if I'm not and I meant to wander off? What if I don’t want to be rescued?
In New Zealand, a merino sheep (named Shrek) wandered off and wasn’t found for 6 years. With no shearing, his wool just kept growing. When they finally found Shrek, he had 60 pounds of wool, could barely see and had trouble moving.
Shrek became a local celebrity (it’s New Zealand, go figure), in 2004 he was sheared on television and his wool was sold at a charity auction. When they rolled Shrek onto his back to start trimming, they didn’t have to hold him still. The weight and bulk of 6 years held Shrek down.
Both Ezekiel and Shrek know (even if I haven’t figured it out yet) that the day will come that I’m going to need some help. Even if nothing bad happens, eventually the accumulations of "normal" life will be enough to hold me down. Even if I don't want to be rescued, eventually I'm going to need to be rescued. More on this tomorrow.