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A Shepherd’s Story

            Seeing that the sun was setting Samuel shepherded his master’s flock near the Olive Tree for the night. As he led the flock he called out to his companions, “Hey Amos and Issachar go ahead and prepare the fire before the sun is no more.”

           As the men sat down by the fire under the olive tree Issachar asked “Hey Samuel how did the meeting go with Jonathan today?”

“ Didn’t get the loan.” replied Samuel

“That sucks.” said Amos

“Did he say why?” asked Issachar

“Apparently I am not experienced enough as a craftsman to invest in. He wouldn’t even really hear me out. The guy pretty much blew me off as unimportant.” replied Samuel

“How are feeling after that?” asked Issachar

“Well honestly I feel like trash after talking with him. I feel like I am stuck in this job and I hate it. I feel like I am not going anywhere in life and when I try to rise above the ashes in this life I can’t catch a break and I end up falling flat on my face.” replied Samuel

“Well I say forget Jonathan, what does he know? He is a fool to say no to you.” interjected Amos

“Calm down Amos” responded Issachar

“What?!? Don’t tell me to calm down the guy was jerk to shut down Sam.” replied Amos

“That might be true…” replied Issachar “…but name calling is not…”

“Look!” interrupted Amos “…all I’m saying is He is a jerk. Besides as the proverb says ‘He who turns down a good thing is a fool.’ So all I am doing is quoting Solomon. He was the smartest guy ever and a king.”

“Amos, Solomon didn’t say that, but thanks for the support, it means a lot.” responded Samuel

“So what now?” asked Issachar

“I have no clue. I feel completely lost. I thought if I were to work hard at this job than I could eventually work my way to my dream job.” replied Samuel

“That being own your own business?” asked Issachar

“Ya.” replied Samuel “But it is more than just owning my own business and being successful. I want to do something that I am passionate about.”

“Makes sense, you just want to do something that you can enjoy.” responded Issachar

“I hear ya bro, I would love to be able to have a job that I could fully enjoy.” remarked Amos

With that being said the three men began prepare their meal for the night. While Issachar and Samuel were preparing the fish and lentil soup, Amos went out to check on the flock. Coming back Amos inquired, “Hey man I was just thinking that maybe the old man could help you out. What do you think? I mean you have been watching his sheep for the last five years, so he kinda does owe you.” remarked Amos

“I already tried but he said no. He told me he didn’t have the time because he had to travel to go get registered.” replied Samuel

“I suppose that makes sense, but I think you should try again when he gets back.” Responded Issachar

“Seriously that whole registration thing seems so pointless.” remarked Amos “But I do agree with Issachar you should ask again.”

“Ok.” said Samuel

Following the meal the three men began to clean up. After which Issachar pulled out his flute and proceeded to play. Amos shortly followed him on his lute. This was the usual custom for the men to play and sing hymns after their nightly meal.

“Are you not going to play?” asked Amos

“Ya, I don’t know. I just don’t feel like it.” replied Samuel

“Why don’t you feel like it? This used to be your favorite part of the night.” responded Issachar.

“I just don’t…I don’t care to.” replied Samuel

“What does that mean?” asked Amos

“I have no drive to play anymore…and I feel somewhat depressed and disconnected.” replied Samuel

“I mean I used to be excited to play and worship the Lord…” continued Samuel “…but lately I have lost all motivation. My heart just isn’t into it.”

“Do you think it has to do with this whole loan thing?” asked Amos

“Ugh…I guess so, I don’t know.” replied Samuel

“Well when did it begin?” inquired Issachar

“About two weeks ago.” answered Samuel

“When did all this stuff about the loan begin? Or rather when did you start stressing out over it?” inquired Issachar

“About two weeks aaa…hmm…but…I mean this was my big chance to get out of this. So of course I had to give everything I had to try and get this loan. It was my last hope” responded Samuel

“Samuel that loan should not be your hope, but I know how you feel though. I have been doing this job for much longer than you and you don’t think I don’t want better? But getting a better job, even a dream job cannot be my hope, nor should it be that which brings me true happiness.” replied Issachar

“Well what makes your ‘heart happy’” remarked Samuel sarcastically

“My heart is made most glad when I worship the Lord. When I worship Him I find joy and that joy makes me want to give myself to a greater sense of worship. Remember the words of Moses in the Torah that we are to ‘Love the Lord with all our hearts, with all our soul and all our strength” replied Issachar

“Ya man, remember King David he was once a shepherd in these very hills a long time ago and he didn’t worry about what job he had as long as he could worship the Lord.” remarked Amos

“You guys are right, you know it is funny though we live in the City of David I find myself always forgetting that he once was a shepherd in these very hills.” replied Samuel

“So how about it wanna play now?” asked Issachar

“Ya, I am ready to worship the Lord. Hey can you pass me my lyre? And can I pick the hymn?” asked Samuel

“Go for it” replied Amos

Samuel took up his lyre and as he played he began to sing and the others joined in:

“I will trust in the Lord and do good,

I will dwell in the land and cultivate it in faithfulness.

For I shall delight myself in the Lord;

For He will meet the desires of my heart,

As I commit my way to Him.

For if I trust in the Lord, He will do it.

So I shall rest in the Lord and wait patiently on Him,

I will not worry as others succeed over me,

For the Lord rewards the lowly,

So I shall worship Him with all of my heart.”

As soon as they had finished an angel appeared before them saying: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

As the angels sang the men stood amazed as soon as they had finished the men quickly gathered up their things led the flock to the manger that they may find the newborn messiah. Coming in they saw the babe lying in a manger just as the angel had said. Upon seeing the babe the three men were moved with love and affection. These three men who thought no one cared about them, found that though man had rejected them they had found favor with the Lord. For the Lord had considered their lowly state in society and that of their hearts and deemed them worthy to be the first to see His Son.

Upon leaving the manger the three men left worshiping and glorifying the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and continued to love so the rest of their days…no matter where they were or what they did.