There are sheep dotting the countryside of the UK in all four countries we visited. In the most unlikely places, their little white wooly forms dot the landscape like stray clouds on a sunny day.
I learned a little about sheep from all of our encounters. If you make a sudden movement toward them, they run immediately. If you stand still and stare at them from what they deem a safe distance, they will stand still and stare back, or even resume munching grass with a cautious eye toward you. If you talk in hushed tones to them or sing softly, they will stand still for a while and listen. But at the very moment that they are able to discern that your voice is not the voice of their shepherd or owner, they take off wildly to get away from you.
If reminded me of some Bible verses about sheep.
Matthew 9:36 – But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Luke 15:4 – 7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
John 10: 1; 4 – 6 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
– Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
John 21:17 – He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
We ought to behave more like sheep. When strange voices, strange doctrines, or strangers trying to entice us down the wrong road speak to us, we ought to have as much sense as the sheep and run away as fast as we can.