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Freedom: The Story of Herman, the Lost Sheep
© 1993 Kurt Hunter
Hello, I'm Calvin the Alligator. This month in church Pastor Rick's been talking a lot about freedom and I'd like to tell you a story about freedom. It's a story from the Bible that I bet you're heard before. Have you heard the story about the shepherd that had a big flock of sheep and one of them got lost?
Well I'd like to tell you that story from the sheep's point of view. You see the sheep's name was Herman and Herman had gotten tired of always being led around by the shepherd. He wanted to be free. He wanted to go wherever he wanted and to do whatever he wanted.
So, one day, when his shepherd was leading the sheep back home from the pasture, where they'd been grazing all day, Herman decided that he was going to go somewhere else. In fact, he headed off in the opposite direction. Oh, Herman was so happy, because he was finally free. Now, for the first time, he could go wherever he wanted and do whatever he wanted.
Well, Herman had never really been any where other than his pen and the pasture before and so it wasn't long before Herman was completely lost. He could go anywhere he wanted, but he didn't know anywhere to go. He didn't even know where he was. Somehow, he wasn't feeling quite as free as he had been, but he kept going.
Before long, he had gone a long ways from the pasture and the ground was all hard and rocky. He was getting hungry, but there wasn't any sweet grass to eat, like there was in the pasture. He wanted to go back to the pasture, but he didn't know how. Now, he was lost and hungry and it felt like he had even less freedom than before.
As he stumbled along, he wasn't watching where he was going, or maybe he was too tired and hungry, but he fell right into a great big hole in the ground. He tried to get out, but the walls of the hole were too steep. Oh, now he felt awful. He'd left the shepherd and all the other sheep because he wanted to be free and here he was trapped in a hole with no freedom at all.
Just then, he heard a familiar sound. It was someone calling. It was his shepherd calling. He started to baa as loud as he could. The calling got louder. Suddenly, he saw his shepherd's face looking down into the hole. He was so happy. Now, he would be free.
His shepherd lifted him up out of the hole and took him back to the other sheep and from that day on there wasn't another sheep that enjoyed his freedom to roam the pasture and follow his shepherd more than Herman.
If you've heard that story before, you may already know that God is like the shepherd and we are like that little sheep. Sometimes we want to do things that aren't good for us to be doing. Maybe it's going somewhere that we shouldn't go, like Herman, or maybe it's doing something that we shouldn't be doing, but if we try to listen to what God is telling us in our hearts is right, God will be there to help us get free from all the problems that we get ourselves into and to help keep us free. Let's close with a prayer.
Dear God, Thank you for talking to us in our hearts to help us know what we should be doing. We know you are always there for us. Help us to listen. Amen.