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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Savior, like a shepherd lead us;
much we need your tender care.
In your pleasant pastures feed us;
for our use your fold prepare.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have bought us: we are yours.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have bought us: we are yours.

We are yours: in love befriend us;
be the guardian of our way.
Keep your flock: from sin defend us;
seek us when we go astray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
hear your children when we pray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
hear your children when we pray.

“Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us” (tune: Bradbury)
from Thrupp’s Hymns for the Young
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

The alarm on my phone sounds exactly like that ear-piercing alert that interrupts all the city radio stations simultaneously just before a severe storm—probably not the most peaceful way to wake up each morning! But that’s what it takes to rouse me after one of my restless nights. My best hours of sleep come in the early morning hours, when my racing thoughts and worries finally run out of steam. And then what do I do? I wrench myself out of that sleepy peace with a couple (hundred) cups of Starbucks coffee in order to jack myself up to keep pace with the day. And so it begins again. My mother expresses this cycle perfectly when she proclaims, “I want off this speeding train!”

I’m always searching for ways to quiet my heart and mind, as I know so many others do. And I’m always amazed at how quickly my good intentions, daily stressors, fears, and worries can crowd out any space I have made for God, although I know in the deepest part of my soul that the only real comfort and peace I have ever truly felt has been rooted in some way to God’s love. So why is this “brain-space” that is most important to me and should belong to God the first to go out the window when things get tough?

Every day we all are bombarded with events, expectations, and responsibilities that demand that we “manage it, own it, overcome it, balance it, fix it, ignore it, or control it”—the list goes on and on!

I often forget that I am one of God’s children, whom he protects as a shepherd takes care of his sheep.

I love the words to “Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us” because it brings me back to the comfort of knowing I’m not in this alone, nor am I expected to handle everything by myself. And the repetition of the words combined with the calming imagery of the flock, quiet pastures, and gentle Shepherd never fails to deliver a rush of security amidst the chaos of my days. I can’t think of better words to sooth my frazzled nerves. They remind me of God’s gentle love, friendship, and guidance—the perfect elixir for my troubled thoughts—if I will only make room for God’s goodness.

God, I am so thankful to be one of your sheep. Help me to remember to look to you, my Shepherd, and your love and guidance in my life journey. Amen.

Written by Patty Donmoyer, Receptionist

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