Keeping Watch

“So keep watch . . .”
“So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care.”
(Acts 20:28)

Ever have the feeling you’re being watched?  This is not a photo of me watching a turkey.  This is a photo of a turkey watching me while it watched over the flock!  I told someone last week that I chased a flock of wild turkey’s across a field in our community and they thought I was crazy.  “Wild turkeys,” you say, “in our neighborhood?”  I was just turning out of our subdivision when a couple of turkeys caught my attention in the field across from our entrance.  I turned around, parked the car, waded out through the weeds, and proceeded to watch the turkeys watching me.  Eventually the flock decided they’d had enough of me so they headed into deeper cover in the adjacent woods. 

Ever have the feeling you’re being watched?  Usually that question is asked with a more negative connotation like, “Are you feeling a little paranoid?”  What about the positive features of the question, more like, “Do you know you’re being watched?  Do you know there is a loving God and caring people who are watching you to make sure you know you’re not alone and that help is available if needed?”  I remember when I was a young boy before the age of eight we lived in a small community that was safe for us to walk a few blocks to play with friends.  Sometimes my mother warned me before I left the house, “Now remember, there are folks watching so if you get into any trouble I’ll know it before you get home.”  Now to a young boy that translated as, “Okay, I guess I’d better behave.”  Looking back on it now I think, “Wow, what a great way to grow up knowing you were being watched.  If I had needed help, it would have arrived in a moment’s notice.”

All of us today, children, youth, and adults, need to know we’re being watched.  We need to know that God cares enough to constantly watch over us and  provide a loving presence.  That presence can offer hope in times of trouble and guidance in times of temptation.  Stop and ask yourself, “How many behaviors would I change if I really stopped to remember that God is watching?”  All of us need to know others who care are watching and willing to offer encouragement, help, and even intervention if necessary.  We pride ourselves on our rugged individualism, freedom, and rights.  However, none of us can live our lives alone.  We all need to know we’re being watched, and we all need to devote ourselves to watching. 
The apostle Paul’s words are just as important today as they were in the days of the early Christian church, “So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock . . .”  I pray that God will help me remember I’m being watched, and remember to help watch.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on September 24, 2014.

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