Black Sheep: I hate that staff of His I tell you, it’s like a chain around my neck. It’s a hindrance! I see things off the path I want to investigate!
White Sheep: But those things could harm us. We need to stay close to Him!
Black Sheep: Oh sheep-wool, you get on my nerves! Grow up! Can’t you see how He restricts us? Just the other day I saw a field of luscious wild flowers and herbs, and headed for it. But He used that stifling staff of His to pull me back and suffocate my adventure!
White Sheep: But I saw Him stare and study that field and He must have seen something you didn’t, maybe a coyote hiding. So He led us away from it. You need to trust Him!
Black Sheep: Yeah right! Meanwhile He leads us on down the path to grass! Common, plain ole boring grass! When I could have been feasting on varieties of wild flowers! I tried to linger back and slip away to the field, but once again He prodded me away from the tempting tastes, with that restricting rod of His.
White Sheep: But what a green pasture He took us to! Lush, plush, healthy grass to both graze and rest upon, and beside us still waters so pure and tasty! And didn’t you see Him circle around us, using His staff to fling snakes away from where we were? That staff of His is a comfort!
Black Sheep: Comfort! Spare me! I don’t want led around! I want to choose my own path, my own fields! I never want to feel that disciplining staff of His pull on me again! I want to roam free…
White Sheep: Free of His protection? Are you rabid or something? There are so many dangers and predators off the path, you need to stay with the flock, let His staff guide and protect you! You need to have faith in Him!
Black Sheep: Oh yes, keep myself surrounded by the flock! You’re all just a bunch of Shepherd freaks that don’t think for yourselves! I’m getting away from all you weak-sheep, Him and His staff one day! Just you wait and see!
---One month later----
White Sheep: You’re back! You’re back! I wondered if I would ever see you again!
Black Sheep: Yes, I’m back—only because He found me! Listen to me flock—He found me just in time!
White Sheep: Where were you? He left all of us, to go find you! You put all of us in danger, but we’re glad He found you!
Black Sheep: I finally had slipped off. I thought He looked my way as I left, but that sad gaze of His must have been seeing something else—for this time He didn’t try and stop me.
For some time, I wandered carefree, just enjoying everything I could about my freedom. Then just inside some woods I spotted a patch of clover. I kind of knew I shouldn’t go into those woods, but the clover was so luring and I didn’t see anything harmful. So, in I went and feasted until I felt unable to stand. I was just about to lie down, happily content, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a bear. I froze. Closer the bear crept—staring—devouringly mocking me and I knew what a mistake I’d made. Yet, I had no strength within myself to escape—all I could do was stand there and tremble.
Then, just when I knew I was a goner—just when I wholeheartedly wished I had stayed with the Shepherd—He came! He swept past me and used that glorious staff of His to beat away that bear! Then He picked me up, held me close and carried me back here to the fold. Just in time He saved me! I was such a stubborn, stupid sheep and still, He saved me!
White Sheep: Wow—Oh yeah, I’m happy—it’s me leaping! Now will you believe how much He cares for you—how much you need Him?
Black Sheep: Yes, with every bleat in me! I have learned my lesson! I have the joy and knowledge of a saved sheep! I will try and walk as close to Him as I can get from now on—and that staff of His—you’d better believe it comforts me now!
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