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Tim Howard writes

It’s been an interesting summer to be a sheep! Where’s he going with that one I hear you ask. We are normally challenged by the weather, if there is a lot of rain we get plenty of grass but plenty of maggots and worms too (the sheep, not the farmer!), and if we have no rain we have fewer maggots and worms, but hungry sheep. Normally it’s a mixture so we have plenty to grumble about but we do tend to focus on the troubles, and less on the gifts. We are so easily distracted by the ‘every day’.

When we move the ewes and lambs to new grass, we pen them up, sort them from one another and take the ewes in the trailer first then we come back for the lambs. When the tailgate of the trailer hits the ground and the gates open, the ewes are out, noses in the grass, oblivious, and totally distracted! Meanwhile, the lambs are a different story, we get back to the yard and they are demanding their rights, they are too young to be weaned, they shout ‘Where’s my Mummy!’. Lambs into the trailer, belt down the road, hoping the ewes haven’t escaped, into the field and the ewes haven’t moved, noses still in the grass, oblivious to the plight of their lambs. When the trailer tailgate hits the ground, the lambs explode into the field, the ewes remember they have responsibilities and chaos ensues as they are lost and then found. A top up of milk and a reassuring nuzzle later and both the ewes and lambs are happy, oblivious and distracted, until the next time they are lost!

In our busy lives we can get distracted from God and sometimes only remember he is there with us when we breathe a sigh of relief as a job is finished, or perhaps when we need help in an emergency. We need to look at our lives and what we do, to see what distracts us from God. Not all the things that distract us from God are bad, those that are, we must push away - with his help.

Most of the distractions we have are God given, our family, our church family, our friends, our homes, even our work, all of these we must share with him. How rewarding for the Giver to be invited to share the presents that he has given, and how much sweeter the presents when in the presence of the Giver. How else can we appreciate Jesus’ words ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). Sorry, what’s that? The grass is tickling my nose!