Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Gospel According to Droopy

A few weeks ago I was at a prayer meeting at 6:30 AM…that's worthy of a blog post for me right there. I don't do 6:30 in the morning without a little extra effort, brothers. At this meeting my associate pastor felt led to read a passage that was on his heart from the book of John. Chapter 10 verses 1 -4 says:

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out."

He continued reading through Chapter 10, on into verses 11-13, which says:

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."

My pastor shared that what was on his heart was that too often we are the "hired hand." The wolf is coming and what do we do? We scatter, we care nothing for the sheep. Christ is the shepherd, and we are the sheep, but we are called to be more like Christ. We are striving to be like the shepherd. So when trouble, the wolf, comes, do we act as the shepherd would or do we act as the hired hand would.

Of course, in my deep theological mind this took me to images of a Droopy cartoon, 1958's "Sheep Wrecked." In this short, Droopy plays the shepherd as the Wolf (voiced by the great Daws Butler) is trying to get in and get himself a meal. That's really all there is to plot, it's just a set up for numerous gags where something blows up in the Wolf's face. But it is interesting to note that Droopy, like Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner, isn't just playing defense here. By the end of the movie, it's clear that he's the one playing offense as he turns all the wolf's plans back on himself. This reminds me a great passage from Mark Batterson's book "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" in which he describes coaching his son's basketball team. These fourth-graders were still learning the fundamentals of the game, so at times they didn't know if they were on offense of defense. Batterson often found himself yelling from the sidelines, "You're on offense! You're on offense!" Batterson then writes, "Sometimes I wonder if the cloud of witnesses sitting in the celestial bleachers is yelling "You're on offense! You're on offense!"

I'm so glad we have a shepherd, not a hired hand, and that he's on offense.

No comments: