Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)
TITLE: The Bellwether
By Thomas Kappel
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Instead, he carefully studies all the members in the flock under his care. He watches how they relate and act around each other and learns to know each of them as individuals. He searches among them for the one.
He knows there is one, but it is often very difficult to find that individual sheep. There is nothing that sets it apart from the others. There is nothing perceptible in its appearance, attitude, or demeanor to signify to the shepherd that this is the one he’s searching to find.
What sets the one apart from the others and special to the shepherd is that, for no discernable reason, all the other sheep in the flock, of their own free will, recognize and will follow the lead of this one sheep. They will follow his lead wherever he goes and he, not the shepherd, will be the one to lead them.
Now the shepherd understands this about flocks of sheep. When he recognizes the one that is the natural leader, he will hang a bell around that sheep’s neck. The shepherd then guides this bellwether sheep and the flock happily follows.
The bellwether learns to hear and recognize the voice of the shepherd. He will follow the guidance of the shepherd even though he ends up leading the flock across rough ground with large rocks and boulders. The flock follows, sometimes crying and complaining, until they arrive at greener pastures often much safer and far from predators.
Still, there are those who wander from the safety of the flock. They seem to do so out of ignorance, foolishness, stubbornness, or because they can and they end up in danger. The shepherd works ceaselessly to find these lost sheep and return them safely to the flock.
There are may different flocks in the world, some great in size, some are small, all with their own bellwether to guide and pastor them.
Strangely enough, it is said among these bellwethers that each and every one of them hear and follow the directions of the same Shepherd and that there is only the one for them all.
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