He had a right to royalty. He was crowned king. No one would ever know on this day. You cannot find him in a castle or surrounded by servants. You do not see him dining at the finest tables and feasting on culinary quisine. He did not wear the clothes of royalty nor did he spend time in the company of the elite.
He spends his time not with people of riches and purple robes, but among the sheep. You see, although he is king, he is a shepherd. He carries the odor of his calling. His job is to nurture and protect the sheep. So on any given day, you will find him diligently at his job. Hidden away from the limelight, this faithful sheperd is the epitomy of obscure ministry.
His story is about to change. One day his brothers are called to a religious ceremony for cleansing and are presented to a godly man called a prophet. It is rumored that he is to select a new king. The shepherd boy is not even invited. He spends his day like any other, he stays with his flock. Then the word comes by the father’s messenger, “Come at once, your father wants to see you!” He hastens to the scene and history is written. Samuel the prophet anoints a new king that day in front of his brothers and father. This shepherd boy is named David.
Well, finally, somebody noticed. At last, he gets the recognition he deserves. How big will be the celebration? What about a 5 day feast and a parade? Maybe they should set up visiting hours for people to come and get signed autographs? Twitter and put it on Facebook. Let’s start a blog called “Sheep Pen to King Pin!” But wait! Hey, where is David?
He goes back to the sheep. Did you catch that? He went back to the sheep!
Something is not right with this picture. Why would he go back to the sheep pen when he is King?
It is his calling. It is his job. It is what God wants him to do. And until God calls him away from the sheep pen, he will stay. Far away from the crowds and the glamour. He will do his shepherd duties like he has always done them. He will give them his whole heart and soul. And when God calls him to the next place, he will continue to serve in the same way.
I meet so many shepherds who feel tucked away, unnoticed, and passed by. Everyday they faithfully serve in obscurity. They know that they are co-workers in God’s kingdom and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, but it does not feel like it at times. Instead of feeling like royalty, they feel forgotten. So what is a good shepherd to do?
The answer– do what David did. Keep on shepherding. No matter how obscure or isolated, keep on being the godly person you were called to become. You are a king. Someday, God will send a message for you. It will sound like this. “I noticed your incredible faithfullness and your attention to duty. I recorded your service and I was so proud of your striving for excellence even in the mundane of life. I want you to know that because you have been faithful in the little things, I will expand your territory and you will now have greater shepherd duties. Well done, good and faithful servant!”
“Now go back to the sheep until I move you!”
For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name. Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations. May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint Your love and faithfulness to protect him. Then I will ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day. Psalm 61:5-8
When we are tempted to feel like the little styrofoam filler in the boxes of life, (just taking up space for the important package) let us be reminded; God choses kings and you are one of them.
Now go back to the sheep!