The Shepherd's Way
When I was in high school, I loved to watch Freddie Prinze in "Chico and the man". He was fabulous! Looking good!!!
His suicide was a shock, and very hurtful for me. I felt like I lost a dear friend. I cried so much when I read about it in the paper, that it took me a very long time to read the story. It's hard to read through tears...
I'll always remember how I felt when I read that he had loved "Psalm 23" so much that it was engraved on his tombstone. I looked it up in the Bible, read it several times, and then I thought: if he had lived by it, he would still be alive.
From that day, I memorized Psalm 23, and I say it all the time. When I'm afraid, confused, sad...as well as when I'm happy, thankful, serene. It's magical, comforting, hopeful, and full of promise.
I don't understand why Psalm 23 is only said at funerals.
Psalm 23 is not something to die by, it's something to LIVE BY!
This is my interpretation of it...
is my shepherd, I shall not want
I'm a city girl, but I've read and heard about shepherds. They take their flock very seriously. They develop a special relationship. The shepherd knows what the sheep need, and provides it for them. A true shepherd will never ignore a sheep that is lost - he will look for it until he finds it. A true shepherd never abandons even one of his sheep. This is my assurance that I will have all that I need.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE
Yes! Because if I am happy, it's a good reflection on him. As my shepherd, it means he's doing a good job. He can't be happy if I'm lost, and who wants to see the ones they love unhappy? This is another promise of safety and love.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
If God, the Almighty Creator of all Creation (whatever you want to call Him/Her/It) is with me, what should I fear?
The rod is the presence of the shepherd, and the staff is his guidance.
If I feel confused about the direction that I am going in, I simply remind myself of the presence of the shepherd because he is always there for me. And if I happen to go the wrong way, he gently leads me back on the right track with his staff - by his example.
Thou has prepared for me a table in the presence of my enemies
My enemies are fear, doubt, insecurity.
The table he has prepared for me consists of faith, hope and love.
Thou has anointed my head with oil
The Lord chose me as one of his own, and blesses me, lifting me from the darkness of my own creation. He gives me life, again.
My cup overflows...
My heart is filled with abundance of all that is love and goodness.
Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of MY LIFE
In my lifetime - while I am alive on this earth, as well as beyond
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
I dwell in the house of the Lord, because my body is a temple of the Lord. And since I am inside the temple (body) too, I reside in the house of the Lord.
As in the beginning, life without end. The spirit lives forever, therefore I live forever, because I am spirit. I am continuously resurrected by love, and connect with the true source of all creation through LOVE.
My interpretation of Psalm 23 is just my own, and not necessarily the same as yours or anyone else's. But this has helped me tremendously throughout the years, and I hope that it will help you too.
With such promises of love, safety and comfort, what should I fear? If the Lord is with me, who can be against me? That's the Shepherd's Way...I shall never want for anything.
As for Freddie Prinze, he's still looking good! Sometimes I can almost hear him laughing in the background when I say: "Hey Chico, who knows how many souls you helped in the same way that you helped me..."
Life is mysterious - and worth living. We need and help each other in many more ways than we realize.
Wishing only well,
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