Old Sheriff – the Donkey
Old Sheriff, the donkey was getting old
and had enough
One day, Old Sheriff, one of these beautiful donkey creatures of God decided he had had enough of being made to laugh and perform for all those silly adults and teasing kids.
Late at night, after all the tourists had left the farm, Old Sheriff escaped his shed and wriggled himself through the fence and ran away from his enclosure.
And wouldn’t you go figure, he ran in the wrong direction – well at least it was the wrong direction for him.
The next morning Jose, the farmer, went to feed his donkeys and found that Old Sheriff was nowhere to be seen. Immediately Jose was disheartened at his loss.
Poor Jose was used to making tourist money from Old Sheriff and his other donkeys and he also used them for the work around the farm. He really needed every one of his animals but Old Sheriff, although his most favorite was no longer as useful to him as he once was.
Jose went home and felt so very sorry for his loss of Old Sheriff that he became very depressed.
When one of the tourist guides arrived at the donkey shed with his group he noticed that Old Sheriff was missing. He immediately left the group and encouraged them to feed and pet the other donkeys and then went to Jose’s farm house and informed Jose that Old Sheriff was not there to greet his tour group this morning as he usually did.
Jose just got angry at the guide and told him to mind his own business, but the guide said that he and his group would help in trying to find Old Sheriff.
Well, Jose eventually gave in and the whole group went to search the farm for Old Sheriff.
As the tour guide walked beside Jose he kept talking about the goodness of God and that life is such a beautiful gift from the Almighty HOLY ONE. He told Jose that God permits us to experience all manner of difficult experiences in order to build our character.
And then he went on to tell Jose that from all the experiences we have, one of the most beautiful experiences is to come out of the problems that life gives us without complaining.
He then went on to share with Jose that God, who created us, has created us in a way that we can develop and become whoever God wants us to be but that it does not mean that we humans become creators of our own destiny.
The guide then went on to say that God has given us the ability to respond to Him and His activity in our lives and that God has never given us complete freedom to choose whatever we want; no, He has given us the responsibility to listen to Him and respond to Him with obedience.
God undoubtedly helps us to achieve His purposes in our life – we never do anything out of sheer self-resourcefulness or self-sufficiency. Self-centeredness however will always seek what we want – our own way and our own idea of freedom and not what God wants and therein lies a lesson for us to learn.
“Life can be a big fat gigantic stinking mess if it is lived without God.”
It wasn’t long after the search commenced that Jose decided to make a turn in the direction of an old well.
The closer he came he could hear Old Sheriff as the animal cried piteously. He probably had been in that old dry well for some time. He cried continuously for what seemed to be hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
Finally, Jose decided the animal was too old to save, and that the well needed to be covered up anyway. It just wasn’t worth the effort to retrieve the aging donkey, he figured.
Jose invited all his tourist guests and some neighbors to come over and help him in covering up the old burro.
Then he and some of those who came to help him all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.
He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit Old Sheriff’s back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
MORAL : Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The process to getting out of the well is to shake the dirt off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells of unresolved issues in life by the simple requirement of not stopping and never never giving up!
Shake it off and take a step up.
But this is just the worldly view of how things happen.
The godly truth is that God permits all manner of things to occur in our life and they are for the purpose of revealing to us what we actually do believe in.
Do we believe that we are the ones who rise above our troubles by just shaking them off or is the truth that God is truly our strength, our sufficiency and our strong fortress in whom we trust to help us out with the right attitude and right action in love for those who would seek to harm us?.
If in the times of our troubles, we do not give thanks and praises to Him who is worthy, we exercise self-worship – for so often we think, “Have we not dealt with things in the right manner ourselves?”
Worship belongs to God in every situation and that is how we return love praise and honor upon Him and back to Him from whom all blessings come – even when they are uncomfortable.
Remember the five simple rules to being happy in the world and to be in joy in Christ.
1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive
2. Free your mind from worries – Be anxious for nothing
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have- Give praises of thanks giving to God
4. Give more – live by the law of love which is always other oriented
5. Expect less from people and expect everything from God who is the faithful supply of sufficiency and always deny your ‘self’
Take my advice folks. Don’t be like many of those mongrel Jackwhatevers and try to deal with the dirty business of life yourself. It may work for a while but you still need the Almighty God,
Yes God even made the dumb idea, from my owner, you know, the idea of burying me alive with dirt and filling the dry well hole at the same time to become the very dirt of life that helped me out of my self-inflicted calamity when I tried to escape something else. The dirt helped me live.