So if you didn’t know, the music festival, Coachella, was this weekend.
I mean. Honestly, if I see another picture of a celebrity wearing a crochet croptop, ripped acid wash jean shorts, and a flower crown while frolicking barefoot in Southern California, I might vom. It’s Coachella. You’re an ironic “millennial flower child.” We get it.
OK OK. Maybe I’m being a little harsh. Maybe that’s because I secretly wish I was there. And that honestly I know I’d love it.
But I digress.
Coachella happened. Just ask Vanessa Hudgens, the “Queen of Coachella.”
Is it just me, or will I always only be able to see her as our sweet Gabriella from High School Musical singing Breaking Free with an airplaning Zac Efron fetus?
But anyways. I think it is kinda ironic that Coachella fell on “Good Shepard” Sunday.
Because, honestly…seeing grown men like Jared Leto (who let’s be real, slightly resembles Jesus) prance around barefoot in the meadows of LA wearing outfits that resemble burlap sacks…I was kinda getting the shepherd vibe.
I mean, it’s funny. Thousands of west coast hipster youths jumping on the music fest “band wagon” — I couldn’t help but think that they’re all like sheep, being herded together to consume the latest alternative music hit.
It really is ironic when you stop and think about it.
Which is just what I did 🙂
One of the most well known depictions of Jesus is as the “Good Shepherd.”
Which, okay — the people in biblical times had a pretty clear understanding of what that really meant. But I mean — it’s 2016. Do sheep even still exist in the wild?
***I’m lookin’ at you, New Zealand…***
But seriously, that whole idea of “shepherd-ism” — suffice it to say, it’s a foreign concept in today’s world.
Shepherds would literally lay down their lives for their flock of sheep.
Sheep — they are straight up dumb animals. Left to their own devices, they would wander off and die. And that is not an exaggeration.
A shepherd’s life is completely devoted to these sheep. He leads them to water and the pasture so that they have food and drink. He herds them to the shade so they don’t overheat and die. He sleeps in the doorway of the stable so that no wolves or other predators come and kill the sleeping sheep.
A shepherd knows each and every one of his sheep and will protect them no matter what the cost.
But here’s the coolest part.
The sheep know the shepherd’s voice. The shepherd makes this “guttural throat sound” that the sheep can recognize.
John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me…No one can snatch them out of my hand.”
Which got me thinking…First of all, what an incredibly comforting image. And secondly, how can I hear His voice?
DO I hear His voice? Would I recognize it even if I did??
That is some powerful stuff.
Because I do believe that He speaks to us. Every day. Maybe not through a burning bush or strikes of heavenly lightening…but in other ways…less obvious ways.
It’s a given that He speaks to us through a) the bible, and b) the quiet times when your mind and heart are still. But those aren’t the only way.
Maybe through a conversation with someone. Or in a “coincidental” situation. Maybe in a book you read. Or if you’re up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking about this one specific thing. Or maybe even a billboard — or graffiti — you pass by.
For me, it’s through music. I’ve been a singer ever since I could formulate words, and so I have a very deep connection with music and singing. It’s my prayer language. I’ve mentioned it before, but the way I embraced recovery and let Jesus into my heart to heal my anorexia was through a specific song lyric I sang during chapel at inpatient.
I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that Cross.
Jesus spoke into my soul during that song. It moved me. Changed me.
I’ll wrap this up, but I really do love the image of the Good Shepherd – protecting, caring for, and speaking to me…the dumb, moronic sheep that, left to my own accord, would have a self-inflicted demise. And spoiler alert-we all have a little bit of “sheep-tendencies” in us. Just ask the kids trying to bring back bell bottoms and leather fringe in LA. #festlife
But I’m never alone. And He’s constantly speaking to me. I just have to have my eyes and ears alert.
So go on, Coachella. You can go ahead and flaunt your flower child carefree-ness all over social media. You’re just a beautiful reminder that, a) the seventies did no one a favor with its fashion trends, and b) we can let ourselves be herded by lots of different worldly “shepherds” these days. But don’t mistake Jared Leto’s messiah-like mane for the true Shepherd. He’s calling, we just have to listen for the shepherd’s voice.