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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Skype and the Lost Herd

I panicked.

A notification had flashed onto the Skype window during a conversation, advising me that I had just four more minutes until my subscription ran out. I didn’t even know I had a subscription. Alarmed, I finished the call and started searching everywhere for a clue and when none appeared, I thought I must need to change payment methods. Having done that, I then began to entertain doubts – doubts that the notification was legitimate, fears that some sort of scam was going on which would end badly for me. 

But then life interfered before I could do anything about it. A B&B guest arrived. A phone call came that Don would be back in 20 minutes with our sick friend who needed dinner between hospital visits. I was cooking a big trout and had no confidence that I knew what I was doing. I was struggling to sort out some other online issues.

Later, as the house grew silent and the clock ticked forward towards midnight, I waited in a queue to have an online chat with a technician who could reassure me. After an hour I was in touch with someone but within five minutes she had disconnected me (intentionally?) and I was back into another hour-long queue. Well, never mind, all’s well that ends well and the verdict was that the notification was legitimate. No scammers. This time.

We live in a fallen world full of pitfalls, some real and some imagined. Technology has only heightened the possibilities of getting into trouble, falling victim to some heartless predator. It can panic us into action as alarm bells clang and we race off down what may be a wrong road.
And then I read this. ‘See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.’ (Isaiah chapter 40) 

What a comfort to be in God’s flock. The other morning I found the road full of most of a herd of cows and their calves and one great big bull, headed purposefully along the lane. I couldn’t see a farmer in charge and in fact it turned out there was no farmer in charge. Somehow the gates had swung open and the herd had moved through them. Without their farmer coming out and rounding them up, they would have been lost.

Without my God rounding his people, including me, up, I am lost. Without the reassurance of his care for me, I would often be in despair. I am so grateful for a powerful, loving God in whom rests all my hope and faith.

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